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Peseiro to wait as ministry demands equal opportunity for shortlisted coaches

By Christian Okpara
21 April 2022   |   4:15 am
It may take a little longer than expected for Super Eagles to get a new head coach.

Jose Peseiro

Eagles wait on CAF to decide fourth team in Group A
It may take a little longer than expected for Super Eagles to get a new head coach.

Speculation has been rife that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has chosen Portuguese coach, Jose Peseiro, as Super Eagles manager. It was also said that the former Saudi Arabia and Venezuela coach would be unveiled to Nigerians very soon.

The report also said that Peseiro has accepted the Eagles’ job and is willing to reside in Nigeria to be able to monitor the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for players.

But that may take a little longer to happen as the sports ministry has directed the NFF to invite all the those interested in coaching the senior national team for interview and give them equal opportunity to prove they are capable of meeting the country’s aspirations.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Toyin Ibitoye, a Senior Special Assistant to Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, said the minister only wants to ensure that the country gets the best possible coach for the Eagles.

According to Ibitoye, “The NFF has the right to employ a coach for the Eagles, but the ministry wants the Federation to give all the coaches equal opportunity to stake their claim to the job.

“We don’t want a situation where somebody will be announced as Nigeria’s coach without going through due process. At the end of the exercise, the NFF still has to make the decision on who among the interviewed coaches becomes Super Eagles’ manager.

“The minister wants things to be done properly because whoever becomes the coach will be saddled with responsibility of meeting the aspirations of Nigerian football fans.”

MEANWHILE, the NFF has started preparations for the Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series following the draw that pits the Super Eagles against Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and the winner of the protest involving Sao Tome & Principe and Mauritius.

The Sao Tome & Principe versus Mauritius case is still awaiting the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board to decide which would be the fourth team in Group A of the qualifying series.
 
The Super Eagles already have a home game lined up for the first week of June against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, who were also in their qualifying pool for the last AFCON tournament in Cameroun. Nigeria and Sierra Leone made it out of that pool, leaving the Squirrels of Benin Republic and the Crocodiles of Lesotho biting their fingers.
 
According to thenff.com, Mauritius have a pending protest against São Tomé and Príncipe, who won their preliminary qualifying fixture, insisting that one São Tomé player had tested positive for COVID-19. São Tomé & Príncipe continue to dispute this assertion.

“The matter became somewhat more interesting because the player at the centre of the controversy is the one that scored the only goal of the match.
 
“This means that after hosting Sierra Leone in Nigeria, the Super Eagles would have to fly to either São Tomé or Port Louis for their Matchday 2 encounter. The window for these two matches is May 30 to June 14.
 
In September, with the window for Matchdays 3 & 4 being September 19 to 27, the Eagles will tango home and away with the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau. The Matchdays 5 & 6 are within the period March 20 to 28, 2023, and will see the Eagles go away to Freetown before returning home to square up to either São Tomé and Príncipe or Mauritius.
 
The two top-placed teams in each of the 12 groups at the end of the qualifying campaign will qualify for the 34th Africa Cup of Nations finals holding in Cote d’Ivoire next year summer.