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‘NFF must manage Eguavoen, Amuneke’s relationship properly for Eagles to excel’

By Christian Okpara
15 February 2022   |   4:15 am
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, believes the Super Eagles have the materials to overcome Black Stars of Ghana home and away if the NFF helps to prepare the team adequately.

Super Eagles Interim Technical Adviser, Augustine Eguavoen (left), Goalkeepers’ Trainer, Aloy Agu and Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke

• Shaibu sure Federal Government will reimburse Edo’s N500m
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, believes the Super Eagles have the materials to overcome Black Stars of Ghana home and away if the NFF helps to prepare the team adequately. He, however, cautioned that the Federation must manage the relationship between Coach Austin Eguavoen and his assistant, Emmanuel Amuneke, to avoid any friction that could derail Nigeria’s dreams.

Speaking in Lagos at the weekend, Shaibu said Nigeria has no business with expatriate coaches because the country has talented managers, who can handle the national teams successfully. He warned the NFF to always go for the best available indigenous coaches whenever it wants to recruit trainers, saying it will take a foreign coach many years to understand the mentality of Nigerian players.

“When I heard that Eguavoen would continue as Super Eagles’ interim coach with Amuneke added as his assistant, I celebrated because they are good coaches.

“However, I thought Eguavoen should have been given the Super Eagles’ job, while Amuneke gets another team. But since they are now to work together, the jobs should be spelt out so that there will be no issues that can derail Nigeria’s ambition of qualifying for the World Cup.

“If you saw Nigeria’s three matches at the Africa Cup of Nations, you will see marked improvement in the Super Eagles compared with what we were used to in the last dispensation.

“What the coaches should do now is to review those matches and the game against Tunisia, to note where they did well and the mistakes they need to correct before the match against Ghana. I am sure they can beat Ghana home and away.”

Shaibu also addressed some of the issues that cropped up during the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, including the outstanding N500 million counterpart funding promised by the Federal Government.

He said: “We presented a comprehensive report of the National Sports Festival last week and sent it to the state government. We had a surplus of N515 million after hosting the Festival. We are still being owed N500 million by the Federal Government, but I am hoping that we will get the money soon.

“When I ran into the minister recently, he assured me that we will get our money. I am optimistic that the money will be paid because this current Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, is a man of integrity.”