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Eguavoen now Eagles technical adviser, as Amuneke becomes ‘first assistant’

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The Nigeria Football Federation have announced the reorganisation of the Super Eagles’ technical staff, with Augustine Eguavoen remaining as Interim Technical Adviser and Emmanuel Amuneke, a former Nigeria World Cup star and former U20 national team Head Coach, drafted in as Chief Coach and First Assistant to Eguavoen.

Amuneke was one of Nigeria’s most decorated footballers, scoring both goals in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations final against Zambia in Tunis, and also scoring the goal that won Nigeria and Africa’s first Olympic football gold medal in 1996.

He also played at the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals, scoring two goals in USA ’94.

A member of both the FIFA and CAF Technical Study Groups, the former Nigeria winger qualified Tanzania for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and led the Taifa Stars in the finals.

“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, Dr Mohammed Sanusi announced in a statement made available to The Guardian.

The changes come after the Super Eagles’ performance at the just concluded 33rd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, and weeks before next month’s potentially explosive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off match against Ghana’s Black Stars.

Sanusi added: “We acknowledge and appreciate the interest that Mr Jose Peseiro has shown in Nigeria Football during our very cordial discussions and have absolutely no doubt about his capacity. 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.”

NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, had earlier, on a Channels TV programme, confirmed that the Nigerian FA was yet to officially sign a contract with Peseiro, all but suggesting that Eguavoen, a former skipper of the Nigerian national team, will take full charge of the Super Eagles in the upcoming double-header against Nigeria’s fierce West African rivals.

“I am still talking to him [Jose Peseiro], maybe he has to wait till after the World Cup qualifiers [against Ghana],” Pinnick told Channels TV. “If in the course of his waiting, he gets another job, we wish him well.

“The good news is that we did not sign the contract officially. We don’t want to rush and make a hasty decision considering the circumstances.”

He added: “We have to do what is best for the nation. And we work in harmony with the sports ministry, which represents the government.”

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