SUPER EAGLES

With Bosso and Salisu's appointment, NFF has not learnt from Nigeria's World Cup failure

The three-time African champions' failure to qualify for Qatar was supposed to usher in a new beginning, but that has not been the case.

Salisu Yusuf is back as the home-based Eagles coach

Nigeria's failure to qualify for the World Cup was a heartbreaking moment that would linger on for a while.

The fans' worst fears were realised immediately after the final whistle on that fateful Tuesday evening at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

Nigeria would not be playing at the World Cup as they failed to beat a Ghanaian side lacking quality. The best they could get was a 1-1 draw, meaning they missed out via the away goals rule, having played a goalless draw at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

The aftermath of the result was also not pleasing to watch, either, with fans storming unto the pitch, destroying properties. It was indeed an unpleasant scene to watch.

Nigeria's failure to qualify for the World Cup is the first time they would be missing the biggest sporting event on earth since 2006. But this one is more painful as the miss would have a ripple effect across all sectors, especially at a time when football seems to be the only thing that makes Nigerians happy.

But while it was a disappointing moment, the situation was also a moment of truth for those running football in the country. The last two years have been a total disaster for Nigerian football.

The age-grade teams failed to qualify for African youth competitions. At the same time, the Super Falcons and the Dream Team also missed out on the Olympics.

The Super Eagles World Cup was a culmination of a failure that has been building up for the last few years. It finally unmasked the disaster the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) might have been trying to hide under the disguise of the Super Eagles.

However, the Super Eagles' failure offers the NFF a chance to usher in a new dawn for the country's football. And one of the places to start is the appointment of coaches with bright ideas.

The NFF did announce the appointment of coaches for all the teams last week, but if there is one thing to learn from the announcement, it is that nothing has changed.

The football body appointed Ladan Bosso as the coach of the U-20 team. At the same time, Salisu Yusuf returned as the home-based Eagles and first assistant coach for the Super Eagles.

The appointment of these two men shows that the NFF has not learnt anything from their previous failures. One of the problems in Nigeria football in the last few years is recycling the same old faces that have contributed nothing to the growth of the game in the country.

In no world should Bosso and Salisu hold a post in Nigerian football. Before his latest appointment, Bosso had been in charge of the Flying Eagles on two occasions, and he failed in both spells.

His first spell was in 2007, when he led Nigeria to the quarter-finals of the World U-20 Youth Championships. He remained in the role for another two years but was sacked after the 2009 Africa Youth Championships after Nigeria finished third.

Eleven years later, Bosso was again appointed as the U-20 coach, but the team failed to qualify for the Africa U-20 Nations Cup. Still, two years later, the NFF has decided to reward the same man with the same role.

This kind of decision only shows that there is no consequence for failing. It is ridiculous that a man that has had the chance to manage the team twice but failed has been given a third opportunity to take charge of the squad.

History has shown that recycling coaches have never worked for Nigeria; the Super Eagles' failure to qualify also indicates that.

Austin Eguavoen had been in charge of the National team on two occasions before his last spell, but he never showed signs he had the tactical acumen.

Nonetheless, the NFF still went ahead to employ him after Gernot Rohr was sacked. But it turned out to be a total disaster as Nigeria crashed out in the round of 16 at the AFCON and failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Eguavoen had no proven track record, yet the NFF went ahead to employ him. They are towing the same line with Bosso when they should have learnt their lesson from Nigeria's failure under Eguavoen.

It is disappointing that they have decided to reward a two-time failure with the same job when they could have given it to a fresh face to show the start of a new era.

The same also applies to Salisu, who has been part of the Super Eagles set-up since the days of Stephen Keshi.

Salisu served under Keshi, Rohr and Eguavoen as the first assistant coach. At the same time, he was also the home-based Eagles coach the last time they qualified for Africa Nations Championship.

However, while Salisu may deserve praise for leading the team to CHAN, it is important not to forget that this was the same guy that was banned for one-year for accepting bribes to influence his team selection.

Yet, it is the same guy the NFF decided to reward with the job he held before he was banned.

Aside from his corrupt practices, Salisu's re-appointment as the Super Eagles' first assistant coach also lacks reasoning.

He was part of Eguavoen's staff that failed in the team's World Cup quest, yet the NFF has decided to reward him with the same job.

The Super Eagles' failure to qualify for the World Cup was supposed to be a reflective period for the NFF and bring in new ideas.

But the body's recent decisions show that they have not learned anything from it, and things will remain the same.

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