By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has finally made an official statement on the composition of the Super Eagles technical crew ahead of the World Cup playoff coming up next month against Ghana.
In a press statement issued last Monday, the NFF confirmed that Augustine Eguavoen will stay on as Interim Technical Adviser while former Nigeria World Cup star and former U-20 national team Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has been drafted in as immediate assistant to Eguavoen.
Regarded as one of the most accomplished footballers to have come out of Nigeria, Amuneke, a one-time African Player of the Year, achieved a great deal in his active days and he is already making his mark even as a coach.
His heroics as a player includes scoring both goals that won Nigeria the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations final match against Zambia in Tunis.
He also scored the goal that won Nigeria and Africa’s first Olympic football gold medal in 1996 and played in the 1994 and 1996 FIFA World Cup finals, scoring two goals in USA ’94.
As a coach, the electrifying winger qualified Tanzania for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and led the Taifa Stars in the finals. He is a Member of both the FIFA and CAF Technical Study Groups.
‘The NFF Board has approved a recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee retaining Augustine Eguavoen as Technical Director/Technical Adviser (interim) while Emmanuel Amuneke becomes the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles.’
‘The NFF Board has approved a recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee retaining Augustine Eguavoen as Technical Director/Technical Adviser (interim) while Emmanuel Amuneke becomes the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles. Salisu Yusuf will be the 2nd Assistant Coach/Chief Coach of the CHAN team and Joseph Yobo will be 3rd Assistant while Aloysius Agu remains the goalkeepers’ Trainer,” the NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi announced.
The reconstitution comes after the Super Eagles’ outing at the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, and ahead of the potentially explosive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off against the Black Stars of Ghana next month.
Sanusi added ‘We acknowledge and appreciate the interest that Mr Jose Peseiro has shown in Nigeria Football during our very cordial discussions and have absolutely no doubt about his capacity. We believe that perhaps in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him.
‘However, in view of the positive performance of the Super Eagles at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations which has given hope to Nigerians and boosted our confidence in the present coaching crew to qualify us for the World Cup in Qatar, we have decided to accept the recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee to retain the Eguavoen-led coaching crew and strengthen it with the addition of Emmanuel Amuneke.’
The Super Eagles will take on Ghana’s Black Stars in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off round scheduled for the month of March.
Before now, there has been growing debate on whether Eguavoen would be retained to continue as the national team handler or whether an extra hand should be brought to manage the Super Eagles.
After the sacking of erstwhile Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, last December, Eguavoen who is the NFF’s Techincal Director, was drafted to lead the national team to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.