Defiant Salisu Yusuf eyes Super Eagles’ job
While many Nigerians are clamouring for the sack of national U-23 team coach, Salisu Yusuf, following his team’s recent loss to Guinea, which knocked the country out of the race for a Paris 2024 Olympics ticket, the home-based national team’s coach insists on returning to the Super Eagles.
Yusuf was one of Jose Peseiro’s assistants before he was transferred to the U-23 team and the home-based national team, CHAN Eagles.
He failed in both assignments, with Ghana beating Nigeria after two legs of the qualifiers for the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) hosted by Algeria. Last week, his U-23 team was beaten by Guinea 2-0 in Morocco to stop Nigeria from qualifying for the CHAN billed to hold in Morocco.
Since Nigeria’s recent loss under Yusuf, football fans have been clamouring for his sack from the national team set up ‘because he has shown that he lacks capacity to guide the sides to success.’
But the coach, who was banned by FIFA for one year in 2018 after being caught on camera accepting a bribe, has seen no reason to leave the scene.
Yusuf, at the weekend, boasted to a local website (soccernet.com) that he has a contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as an assistant coach of the Super Eagles and he intends to honour it.
Yusuf was quoted as saying, “I am a coach and I will always be a coach as far as I am fit to work. I have a definition with the side (U-23), but I still have a contract with the Super Eagles as an assistant coach.”
Following the Morocco 2023 U-23 Nations Cup debacle, some Nigerians criticised the NFF for reabsorbing Yusuf after the bribery scandal, with some fans calling for a new method of appointing coaches for the various teams.
Last week, NFF Secretary-General, Mohammed Sanusi, acknowledged the criticisms and stated that the federation would soon introduce a new strategy for recruiting coaches.