NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has declared that there is no going back on the decision to hire a foreign coach to manage the Super Eagles as the campaign for the 2018 World Cup gets underway.
Earlier this week, Nigeria was eliminated from the race to make the 2017 African Cup of Nations after losing 0-1 away to Egypt in Alexandria. Interim coach Samson Siasia who stepped in to handle the team after Sunday Oliseh suddenly resigned is thus unlikely to be retained and will most likely resume his old job as the U23 manager.
This has opened up a vacancy and despite opposition from the local coaches’ federation, Mr Pinnick has insisted that the new coach will be a highly experienced expatriate. Mr Pinnick has defended his decision to go for a foreigner, insisting that no local coach can give the country the desired results.
According to Mr Pinnick he cannot afford to stay in office and see Nigeria lose out in the qualification for Russia 2018 World Cup. Among the big name foreign coaches being mentioned are the likes of Claude Le Roy, Clemence Westerhoff, Paul Le Guen and Mark Wotte.
Mr Pinnick said: “I cannot put our World Cup hopes on a local coach. We need a world class coach who can reshape our football, which is why I cannot compromise my decision for a foreign coach.
Citing the case of Hector Cuper, Egypt’s national team coach who under two years has returned the Pharaohs to the limelight of African football, Mr Pinnick said that he has shown how things should be done. It appears that the NFF is considering getting local coaches like Emmanuel Amuneke and Salisu Abubakar to assist the expatriate who they will appoint.
“Egypt have so many professionals abroad but Cuper used only five and he still went ahead to get the desired result. That is why I am insisting on a foreigner for the Eagles Sports,” Mr Pinnick added.
One other NFF source added: “I am afraid, the new coach may have already begun work as he has been talking to countries like The Netherlands and Scotland for friendlies with the Super Eagles.”