Interest charge

Nigeria: Augustine Eguavoen will remain in charge of the Super Eagles on an interim basis

Augustine Eguavoen (left) is in her third term as head of Nigeria

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reversed its decision to appoint Jose Peseiro as national team coach and has retained Augustine Eguavoen on an interim basis.

However, the NFF have now confirmed that Eguavoen, 56, will remain in charge of the three-time African champions ahead of the 2022 World Cup second leg play-off against Ghana next month.

He will be assisted by former international Emmanuel Amuneke after a good performance by the Cameroon team.

“We recognize and appreciate the interest that Jose Peseiro has shown during our very cordial discussions and have absolutely no doubts about his ability. We believe that perhaps in the future there may be an opportunity to work with him,” NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi said. noted.

“However, given the positive performance in the Africa Cup of Nations, we have decided to accept the recommendation of the technical and development committee to retain the coaching staff led by Eguavoen.”

Eguavoen, technical director of the NFF, had supported the appointment of Peseiro as his successor at the end of the tournament.

Jose Peseiro
Jose Peseiro resigned as Venezuela coach in August last year

However, the decision to ignore the Portuguese didn’t come as a surprise.

Two days ago, NFF chairman Amaju Pinnick told local TV channel Channels TV that he had informed former Porto and Sporting CP boss Peseiro to wait until the end of March for a possible employment.

“I always talk to him,” Pinnick said.

“Maybe he will have to wait until after the World Cup qualifiers and if during his wait he has found another job, we wish him the best of luck. The good news is that we haven’t signed the contract officially.”

NFF opts for continuity but adds Amuneke

Nigeria sacked longtime boss Gernot Rohr just four weeks before the Nations Cup, with Eguaoven supports for the third time in his career.

End of December one an agreement has been reached for Peseiro to finally take over West Africans.

The Super Eagles were the only team to win all three group matches in Cameroon but were then beaten 1-0 by Tunisia in the round of 16.

Critics of Eguavoen pointed to his poor handling of the game against the North Africans and the fallout from Nigeria’s exit polarized opinions in the country – hence the decision to sign Amuneke, who led Tanzania to the Cup des Nations 2019, as an assistant coach.

Salisu Yusuf and former Everton defender Joseph Yobo have also joined the coaching staff, while Aloysius Agu remains as goalkeeping coach.

Amuneke, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year, previously managed his country’s youth teams, Sudanese club SC Khartoum and Egyptian side Misr El-Makkasa.

Nigerian Emmanuel Amuneke carried on his player's shoulders after winning the 2015 Under-17 World Cup
Emmanuel Amuneke coached Nigeria to the 2015 Under-17 World Cup title in Chile

He was assistant coach when Nigeria lifted the Under-17 World Cup trophy for a record fourth time in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Two years later, Amuneke led the Golden Eaglets to a fifth U17 World Cup title in Chile and, revered as a proven youth coach, he was quickly promoted to coach Nigerian U20 side the Flying Eagles.

As a player he was a key part of the Super Eagles squad alongside Eguavoen, scoring both goals in the 1994 Nations Cup Final where Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 to secure their second African title.

He also played for the Super Eagles in the 1994 World Cup, scoring memorable goals against Bulgaria and Italy.