President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has defended the appointment of former defender Joseph Yobo as assistant coach of the Super Eagles.

The NFF earlier in February 2020 announced Yobo as the assistant to Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr replacing Imama Amapakabo as the third in command.

The appointment has been greeted with criticism over Yobo’s lack of coaching credentials which was even pointed out by Rohr.

Pinnick, however, counters the arguments and states that Yobo has been appointed to mentor young Super Eagles players.

"The concept behind this is to nurture and condition former captain Joseph Yobo to provide leadership and mentorship for the young team," Pinnick told BBC Sport.

Amaju Pinnick believes Joseph Yobo can mentor the young Super Eagles team (Pulse)
Amaju Pinnick believes Joseph Yobo can mentor the young Super Eagles team (Pulse)

"He has an incredible experience playing for some of Europe's biggest clubs. He is one of our most-capped players ever and also won the Nations Cup.

"I believe that as Nigerians we have a chance to make a positive step forward and it's important to give him the opportunity to succeed."

Yobo is yet to undertake any coaching education and his soon-to-be boss Rohr has urged him to do so to further his coaching career.

While reacting to the appointment, the Super Eagles coach says he will talk to the former defender about having a coaching certificates.

Joseph (Yobo) is welcome to the team, of course. I have heard that he has no coaching diplomas, so I will talk to him about this,” Rohr is quoted to say by British-Nigerian journalist Osasu Obayiuwana.

If what I have heard is correct, I will tell Yobo that he needs to do the training required, to grow as a coach.

Yobo is Nigeria’s second most capped player with 100 appearances for the Super Eagles.

Yobo made his Super Eagles debut in April 2001 and went on to play in three FIFA World Cup and six Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

The Port-Harcourt-born Yobo also had a successful club career playing for the likes of Marseille, Everton, Fenerbahce, Standard Liege, Norwich, etc.

Since his retirement, the former defender has remained involved in football and worked as a pundit for SuperSport on MultiChoice’s DSTV.