Why is the NFF dragging its feet in appointing a coach for the Super Eagles?

The three-time African champions are still without a coach just a month before the start of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

The Super Eagles will face Ecuador later this month but they do not have a coach yet

It has been over one month since the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) decided to sack the technical crew of the Super Eagles led by Austin Eguavoen. The NFF sacked the ex-Nigeria international after Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Eguavoen was an interim boss himself as he only replaced Gernot Rohr, who was sacked in December after five years in charge.

His sacking was supposed to be the start of a new era for the Super Eagles, starting with the appointment of a new coach. Following his sacking, the NFF drew up a shortlist of five candidates to replace Eguavoen. Among the names that came up were Ernesto Valverde, Lauren Blanc and Jose Peseiro.

Peseiro was the favourite for the job when the shortlisted candidates were revealed. The Portuguese should have replaced Rohr permanently after the German was sacked. Although Eguavoen was appointed as the interim manager, Peseiro was expected to take over after the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, for reasons only known to the NFF, they decided to keep Eguavoen despite Nigeria's second-round exit.

But following the World Cup qualification disaster, Peseiro was back in the picture again. However, while the NFF was ready to appoint the Portuguese, they ran into a snag with the Ministry of Sports led by Sunday Dare.

The Ministry of Sports kicked against the choice of Peseiro as they want every candidate to be given a fair chance to stake a claim for the job.

Also, they wanted ex-Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh for the job, but the NFF kicked against it. As a result, the disagreement in choices between the two parties has delayed the appointment of a permanent coach for the team.

The current situation is not ideal for the three-time African champions. The Super Eagles will play international friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador later this month. Yet, it is still not clear who will lead the team out.

More importantly, the 2023 AFCON qualifiers start in June, but the Super Eagles do not have a coach. This is not the ideal way to start a new chapter after the World Cup disaster. It also does not helps the players, even though they are concentrating on their clubs right now.

The NFF and the Ministry of Sports need to sort out their disagreement and appoint the best man for the job. They cannot afford to repeat the past mistakes, which eventually cost the team at AFCON and in the World Cup playoffs.

This is supposed to be the beginning of redemption for the Super Eagles, but it does not look like it, no thanks to the NFF and the Sports Ministry's delay in the appointment of a suitable coach for the team.

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