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Mixed feelings as Eguavoen remains Eagles coach

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Fans slam NFF for retaining coach caught for bribery

Reactions online have trailed the Nigeria Football Federation’s decision to retain Austin Eguavoen as the Super Eagles coach, The PUNCH reports.

The NFF, in a statement on Monday, announced the reconstitution of the technical crew of the Eagles, with Eguavoen remaining as Interim Technical Adviser, while former Nigeria World Cup star and former Flying Eagles coach Emmanuel Amuneke was drafted in as immediate assistant to Eguavoen.

According to the NFF, the reconstitution comes after the Eagles’ outing at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, “and ahead of the potentially-explosive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off round against the Black Stars of Ghana next month.”

The announcement brings to an end speculations in recent weeks over the future of Eguavoen, who sparked live into the squad despite barely two weeks to prepare the team for the AFCON, following the dismissal of Franco-German Gernot Rohr in December.

“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 second Assistant Coach/Chief Coach of the CHAN team and Joseph Yobo will be third Assistant Coach, while Aloysius Agu remains the Goalkeepers’ Trainer,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, stated in the statement.

The announcement sparked reactions online, with some respondents praising the NFF for keeping Eguavoen, an indegenius coach, while others preferred a foreigner to manage the Eagles.

“Having Amuneke on this list alone makes me happy. Let’s give them the necessary support and free hands to operate but the onus lies on them too not to allow their personal interest to override them,” Lawal Olatunji stated on Twitter, while backing the appointment.

@Nwancho Emmanue1 added, “Good one. please, make sure we qualify for the world cup oooo.”

@ndubisi2287 wrote, “Are u joking? The best news I have heard,” while @emytelli added, “I like this.”

Manga Enwezoh, however, preferred a foreign coach.

He stated, “Why all these gambling? If Amaju Pinnick has run out of ideas he should call a General Election and resign. Football is what unites us. We are a big football nation. Being eliminated in first knock out phase is a national disgrace. We want a foreign Coach.”

Michael Atamiremwen also stated, “What does Eguavvon know about match tactics and game plan? All he knows is how to select 11 players and ask them to win a game.”

Also, the fans came hard on the federation, for keeping Salisu Yusuf in the Eagles technical crew.

Salisu was in August 2018 caught on camera accepting cash from men who posed as football agents to select two players for his Morocco 2018 African Nations Championship squad.

He was subsequently banned for one year and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 by the federation after the NFF Ethics and Fair Play Committee ruled that the coach received $1,000 from the men.

However, the NFF shockingly reinstated Yusuf as Eagles assistant coach last November.

Chibuike Sabastine stated, “What’s so special about this Salisu Yusuf? Must he be there, are they telling me if not him there won’t be anybody. This is a man who was found guilty of collecting bribe, must he do national team job? There’s club jobs in Nigeria and elsewhere he can go?”

@abeembohlah added, “This Salisu Yusuf, must he be there?”

Donald Igyor wrote, “Can’t we replace this Salisu guy? I’m so ashamed.”

@Otunba_JamJam added, “The crooked Salisu Yusuf continues in his ignominious role. What a country!”

Meanwhile, the federation also announced parting of ways with former Venezuela coach Jose Peseiro for the Eagles coaching job.

The NFF had approached the Portuguese after parting ways with Rohr, but contract talks seemed stalled, before the appointment of Eguavoen to take interim charge of

“We acknowledge and appreciate the interest that Mr. Jose Peseiro has shown in Nigerian 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,” Sanusi added.

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