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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NFF bows to pressure, names Eguavoen, Amuneke for Super Eagles job

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Following public outcry that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should allow Augustine Eguavoen to continue his role as Super Eagles manager, the NFF on Monday retained Eguavoen as interim Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, while former Nigeria World Cup star and former U20 Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke named as his assistant.

“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 of the CHAN team and Joseph Yobo will be 3rd Assistant while Aloysius Agu remains the Goalkeepers’ Trainer,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi said.

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 round against the Black Stars of Ghana next month.

Read Also: AFCON: CAF Names Nigeria’s Eguavoen Group Stage Best Coach

“We acknowledge and appreciate the interest that Jose Peseiro has shown in Nigeria Football during our very cordial discussions and have absolutely no doubt about his capacity. We believe in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him.

“However, given 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,”
Sanusi added.

Eguavoen, 56, is the only man to have coached Nigeria to win all three matches in the group phase of the AFCON since the country started participating at this level in 1963. He was head coach when the Eagles defeated Ghana 1-0, Zimbabwe 2-0 and Senegal 2-1 at the Al Masry Stadium, Port Said to sweep the stakes at the 2006 finals.

In 14 previous matches across three stints, the 1994 AFCON winner and two-time FIFA World Cup defender have left the field victorious in 12 matches, losing only two – the 0-1 defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the semi final of the 2006 finals and a 2012 AFCON qualifier in Guinea that was embroiled in circumstances of uncertainty, which the team lost by the odd goal.

Amuneke, one of the most decorated footballers to have come out of Nigeria, scored both goals that won Nigeria the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final match against Zambia in Tunisia.

Amuneke 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. Amuneke is a member of both the FIFA and CAF Technical Study Groups.

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