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NFF’s treatment of Finidi George: A greater insult than Victor Osimhen’s ugly public outburst

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While the public feud between Victor Osimhen and Finidi George has dominated headlines, a more pressing issue has quietly unraveled. 

Finidi George has resigned as head coach of the Super Eagles, just a month after his appointment.

Finidi’s tenure began on a shaky note, with the Super Eagles suffering a damaging 1-0 defeat to the Benin Republic following a 1-1 draw against South Africa. These results have jeopardized Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, a situation made more critical by the country’s failure to qualify for the 2022 tournament.

In response, the Sports Ministry has queried the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF subsequently announced plans to appoint a foreign Technical Adviser who would oversee Finidi, effectively demoting him to his previous role as assistant coach. Reports indicate Finidi’s salary would be reduced from N15 million to N5 million.

Finidi alleges that the NFF did not communicate these changes to him clearly, a move arguably more disrespectful than Osimhen’s viral rant.

While Osimhen’s social media outburst drew widespread attention, the NFF’s handling of Finidi’s situation has been more damaging.

Finidi George is a respected figure in Nigerian football, having enjoyed a successful playing career with Ajax, including winning the UEFA Champions League. He has also proven his coaching credentials, leading Enyimba to the NPFL title and serving as assistant coach when Nigeria reached the AFCON final in February.

Despite not being the most obvious choice for head coach, the NFF saw potential in Finidi when they appointed him. Rather than supporting him through initial challenges, they appeared to undermine him after just two games.

Finidi faced numerous challenges, including injuries to key players and late arrivals to camp. While he may have made mistakes, it was expected that his bosses would support him.

Instead, it seems the NFF set him up to fail, giving them an excuse to revert to foreign coaches who often receive better support than their local counterparts.

Finidi should certainly address Osimhen’s disrespectful comments, but he must not lose sight of the larger issue—the NFF’s treatment. The true insult and disrespect come from the NFF, which has failed to back one of Nigeria’s football legends in his time of need.

NB: Did the NFF treat Finidi well as the Super Eagles coach? Leave your comments below. 

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