Austin Eguavoen has been retained as the Interim Manager of the Super Eagles, as the team prepares for the World Cup Qualifiers in Qatar later in the Year.
The decision of the NFF to retain Eguavoen as the Eagles interim coach is not unconnected to the brilliant performance of the team at the group stage of the just concluded AFCON 2021 tournament.
A former Flying Eagles coach Emmanuel Amuneke was also appointed to join the Technical Crew.
Eguavoen, who is on his third stint with Nigeria, led the Super Eagles to a disappointing round of 16 at the African Cup of Nations as they got eliminated by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
His re-appointment as the head of the technical crew puts insinuations on the situation of Portugues coach Jose Peseiro to rest. Nigeria had announced Peseiro as the man to take charge of the Super Eagles but made a turnaround after some strings of good displays at the AFCON.
Amuneke, former coach of the Tanzanian national team lead Nigeria to the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile but fell short of qualifying for the U-20 Championship two years later. He also worked two years ago as a coach in the Egyptian Premier League and has been part of the FIFA and CAF Technical Study group.
According to the general secretary of the NFF, Mohammed Sanusi the reshuffling of the technical crew will see Salisu Yusuf work as the second assistant coach.
“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.
“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.”
Nigeria is expected to play against Ghana in a World Cup qualifying fixture with eventual winners representing Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.