The Super Eagles will host Sao Tome and Principe in Uyo one week from Wednesday for the final group encounter in the AFCON 2023 qualifier. Even though the Super Eagles had already qualified for the competition, there were concerns over who would manage the team because Nigeria does not have a coach.
The contract with Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro has subsequently expired, and talks between the NFF and the coach have stalled due to disagreements over financial issues. While the NFF is demanding on a pay cut as a condition for contract renewal, Peseiro is not having it. He is adamant on his 70,000-dollar-a-month wage, which the NFF has refused.
With little progress in sight, the NFF Technical Committee has taken action by looking internally. We learned that, due to the urgency of the situation, the committee has decided to appoint an interim coach to manage the Super Eagles’ AFCON qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe.
This was reported by a source with knowledge of what is going on at the Glasshouse. According to the source, the Federation is not in a haste to hire a new coach or to finalise contract negotiations with the Portuguese coach.
“Instead, the NFF will appoint an interim coach to oversee the team’s final Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game,” the source stated.
Nigeria has qualified for the AFCON, which will be hosted by Ivory Coast, but the phase will conclude with a match against Sao Tome and Principe at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
According to the source, NFF technical director Austin Eguavoen would take over as team captain for the encounter in Uyo.
The Nigeria Football Federation also considered Coach Salisu Yusuf and Enyimba International FC manager Finidi George.
The appointment will be made before the Super Eagles’ camp opens in Uyo on September 4 for the encounter against Sao Tome Principe.
Coach Eguavoen was the Super Eagles’ interim coach last year when they were eliminated from the 2022 AFCON in Cameroon. On his way back from the disastrous AFCON, he too failed to guide the squad to Qatar, as the Super Eagles were defeated in Abuja by the Ghana Black Stars.