Super Eagles coach: Reasons why NFF settled for ex-Barcelona man Emmanuel Amunike revealed

Amunike Osimhen

1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner Segun Odegbami has provided reasons why the Nigeria Football Federation has seemingly decided on appointing Emmanuel Amunike as the head coach of the Super Eagles, reports.

After screening dozens of applications from foreign and indigenous coaches over the past few weeks, the NFF has reportedly selected Amunike as the successor to Jose Peseiro.

Odegbami believes the NFF preferred another European coach to take over the national team to further the alleged financial racketeering in the exercise.

However, the Shooting Stars icon is convinced that the scarcity of funds in the coffers of the NFF forced the football body to settle for a Nigerian coach – a cheaper alternative.

“One thing is clear, except amongst some academic hard-line critics of Nigerian coaches, there appears to be little appetite for another half-baked foreign coach in Nigeria,” Odegbami wrote in his column in the Vanguard.

“The rackets attached to the hiring of foreign coaches may not find accommodation in a beleaguered government trying to reduce corruption in the system.

“The NFF does not have the funds, and the federal government will not accommodate the humongous fees of foreign coaches in the present dispensation.

“So, it will be a Nigerian as next manager of the Super Eagles.”

It has been seven weeks since Jose Peseiro exited his role as the Super Eagles head coach, leaving the position vacant.

If the NFF knew it only had the resources to hire a local coach, why has it taken such a long time to identify the right candidate among the many former internationals who applied for the job?

Odegbami concedes that while most Nigerians in the media space wanted Emmanuel Amunike, other powerful interests were pulling the strings behind the screens.

The two-time AFCON top goal scorer, however, warns Amunike to be ready to convince skeptics of his readiness for the job when his appointment becomes official.

“There is a lot of politicking ongoing,” Odegbami continued.

“Nigerian coaches appear not to tick all the boxes of requirements, not eliciting the confidence of several officials of the NFF with vested interest in particular aspirants.

“As things stand, however, a decision has to be taken now.

“Most fingers point in the direction of a former international player.

“He appears to be the preferred choice of most Nigerians in the media, particularly the social media.

“I will not be surprised if Emmanuel Amuneke gets the final nod to lead the team. It will become a huge task to dispel the serious reservations about his choice by those familiar with his antecedents when he was in one of the junior teams.”

Amunike left mixed antecedents when handling the Nigerian underaged teams.

The former Barcelona winger led the Golden Eaglets to loft the FIFA U-17 World Cup while nurturing talented kids like Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze.

However, he was in charge of the Flying Eagles when the team failed to qualify for the U20 AFCON in 2017.