Football

Nigeria, Ghana re-arrange coaching personnel after AFCON, eyes on World Cup

Augustine Eguavoen
  • Nigeria make Peseiro U-turn
  • Former Brighton coach Hughton part of Ghana bench
  • Both sides to meet in World Cup qualifiers

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have made a U-turn in the appointment of Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro, and instead said Augustine Eguavoen will continue the role on an interim basis.

The NFF also said that they will incorporate former international Emmanuel Amuneke into the technical bench with the likes of Joseph Yobo retained ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

“The NFF Board has approved a recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee retaining Augustine Eguavoen as Technical Director/Technical Adviser (interim) while Emmanuel Amuneke becomes the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles. Salisu Yusuf will be the 2nd Assistant Coach/Chief Coach of the CHAN team and Joseph Yobo will be 3rd Assistant while Aloysius Agu remains the Goalkeepers’ Trainer,” NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi said in a statement.

Eguavoen had been named on interim basis for the Africa Cup of Nations, just after the NFF had announced that Peseiro will be the team’s new tactician after the tournament. There had been a coaching vacancy with the Super Eagles after Gernot Rohr was fired last year.

However, the NFF seems to have had a turn-around on their thoughts on Peseiro after Eguavoen had shown promise in the team’s Cup of Nations run.

Emmanuel Amuneke

Despite an exit in the round of 16 after a loss to Tunisia, Nigeria had won all their group stage matches and it is from these performances that the NFF were convinced to give the interim man some more time.

It is also understood that a difference in wage demands between the NFF and Peseiro might have contributed to the last minute change in mind.

“We believe that perhaps in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him.  However, in view of the positive performance of the Super Eagles at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations which has given hope to Nigerians and boosted our confidence in the present coaching crew to qualify us for the World Cup in Qatar, we have decided to accept the recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee to retain the Eguavoen-led coaching crew and strengthen it with the addition of Emmanuel Amuneke,” Sanusi further added.

Amuneke’s last coaching job was with Tanzania in 2019 where he helped them qualify for the Cup of Nations for the first time in over 35 years.

Meanwhile, Ghana, who the Super Eagles meet in the World Cup qualifiers in March have announced that former Borussia Dortmund defender Otto Addo, who is currently the assistant coach at the German Bundesliga side, will be the new Black Stars head coach, also on an interim basis.

Otto Addo

Former Brighton Hove and Albion head coach Chris Hughton has meanwhile been drafted in as the Black Stars technical advisor.

Other members of the new Technical team include George Boateng and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani.

Ghana performed dismally at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations under their 2010 World Cup history-setting coach Milovan Rajevac. The Serb was however sent packing immediately after the tournament where the Black Stars exited in the group phase.

The Ghana Football Association now hopes that the appointment of a new technical team will spur confidence ahead of their blockbuster match up with Nigeria.

Ghana hosts the Super Eagles in the first leg at the Cape Coast Stadium in Accra on March 24 before travelling for the return leg in Abuja three days later.

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