By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
FIFA has named Super Eagles greats Okocha, Amuneke in Arsene Wenger-led Technical Group
The two Nigeria legends paid their dues in the game before retiring several years ago, but the world governing body is still courting their expertise
FIFA has named former Super Eagles stars Austin Okocha and Emmanuel Amuneke in a freshly-constituted Technical Advisory Group that will consult for FIFA on the future of men’s football.
The prestigious panel is comprised of 38 legendary players and coaches from the world’s six continents.
Okocha and Amuneke headline six African greats that also included Côte d’Ivoire’s Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré, Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji, and Cameroon’s Geremi Njitap.
Other prominent former footballers who make up the panel include Brazil’s Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel (Denmark), German icon Jürgen Klinsmann, Englishmen Michael Owen and John Terry, Dutch hero Marco van Basten, Oman’s Ali Al-Habsi, Australia’s golden boy Tim Cahill, among others.
The advisory group will meet later this week with ex-Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, FIFA Director of World Football Development, in Doha, Qatar, for a two-day consultation.
French publications Francs Jeux stated on its website that the mission of the technical panel is ‘to assess potential alternatives to the current organisation of men’s football through a double prism: the desire to make football truly global and the need to give every talent and every region a chance.’
Former Golden Eaglets coach Amuneke sealed his place as one of Nigeria’s greats after playing at two FIFA World Cup finals and helping the country win gold at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations tournament and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Ex-PSG playmaker Okocha, who participated in three World Cups, was also part of Nigeria’s AFCON and Olympic Games winning teams.