NFF may not hand Eagles’ job to indigenous coach, says Adelabu

Former Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu,believes it would now be difficult for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to hand the Super Eagles’ coaching job to an indigenous coach.

“The NFF is desperate for results,and they may be tempted to look outward for a more experienced coach for the Super Eagles,” Adelabu told The Guardian yesterday.

Former Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, and some Nigerians ‘arm twisted’ former NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, to do away with Coach Gernot Rohr on the ground that his team was not playing satisfactory football. It paved the way for homeboy, Austin Eguavoen, to take over the team.

But the Eguavoen-led team crashed out in the round of 16 at the 2021 AFCON held in Cameroon, which was Nigeria’s worst result in the competition since the 1982 edition in Libya.

The setback notwithstanding, Dare and some Nigerians stood with Eguavoen despite calls from some stakeholders to sack him before a two-legged World Cup qualifier against the Black Stars of Ghana. The NFF was adamant, allowing Eguavoen to take charge. The rest is history, as the Black Stars came to MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, and snatched the ticket to Qatar 2022 World Cup in front of the home crowd.

Pinnick then brought in Portuguese coach, Jose Peseiro to manage the team. Although he led the Super Eagles to the final of the last AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire, his defensive pattern of football did not go down well with many Nigerians.

Nigeria got to the final and lost to the host nation and after the championship, the NFF and Peseiro parted ways.

Since Peseiro took a walk, some Nigerians have been clamouring for an indigenous coach to lead the Super Eagles, with the duo of George Finidi and Emmanuel Amunike as frontrunners.

Adelabu said, “I am not ruling out the possibility of appointing any of the two guys (Finidi or Amunike), but the whole thing depends on the goal of the NFF at the moment.

“The future of our football may not be their priority. You and I know they will prefer a foreign coach for several reasons. Also, the government is completely in the dark concerning the future of sports in the country, hence, no one can force the NFF to hire an indigenous coach because the home boys don’t seem to be relevant.Since we don’t even know what we want, how can we know how to get it?”

Adelabu queried: “How many of the indigenous coaches are under the NFF’sperformance radar? There will always be players to play irrespective of who coaches them, but it will end up as usual because of lack of or inadequate succession planning.”

He said the NFF would not treat the local coaches the way they do to foreigners because they believe the homegrown coaches are repaying the country for what the country did for them.

“They may not even pay them allowances as usual and nothing will happen; unlike the foreign coach that will take them to the court of Arbitration for breach of contract,” Adelabu said.

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