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We didn’t force Amokachi, James, others on Finidi George – NFF President Gusau

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The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, has revealed that the new Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, was not forced to choose his assistants, Soccernet.ng reports.

The 53-year-old coach was introduced to the press at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium’s Conference Room in Abuja. The event was attended by the Honourable Minister for Sports, Owan Enoh, along with top NFF officials, led by the President.

During the event, the NFF also introduced the assistants who will support Finidi during his tenure as head coach of the three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions: Daniel Amokachi, Benjamin James, Olatunji Baruwa, Chima Onyeike, and Mehmet Ozturk.

This raised questions about whether the Nigerian Football body imposed these assistants on Finidi as part of his contract as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

Who Chose Finidi’s Assistants?

Speaking at Soccer Africa, the NFF President clarified that Finidi George himself chose his assistants, and the NFF did not impose any names on him.

“I am very happy when we unveiled Finidi to Nigeria. The NFF Technical Director put all the names on the list and they chose the best they felt would work. All the names you saw as assistants to Finidi were chosen by him,” Gusau said.

Finidi selected his 1994 Super Eagles teammate Amokachi as one of his assistants, with Olatunji Baruwa retaining his role as the goalkeepers’ trainer, a position he held under Jose Peseiro. They will be joined on the technical bench by Benjamin James as the second assistant, Chima Onyeike as the fitness trainer, and Mehmet Ozturk as the match analyst.

Finidi’s Contract With NFF

There has been mixed information within the Nigerian football community regarding the duration of Finidi George’s contract with the NFF, with some reports suggesting a one-year term and others indicating two years.

Gusau clarified that Finidi’s contract is not a one-year deal.

“Finidi’s contract is not a one-year contract. His target is to get us to the semi-finals of the AFCON and qualify us for the World Cup in 2026. Our contract with Peseiro ended, and we asked Finidi to take charge of the friendlies during the FIFA window. We listened to Nigeria’s call for an indigenous coach for the Super Eagles,” the NFF President added.

Performance-Based Contract

Finidi’s contract with the NFF is performance-based, with an initial one-year term and an option to extend for another year if performance targets are met. If the AFCON targets in 2025 are not achieved, there will be no contract renewal for 2026.

This performance-based contract is designed to ensure hard work and results. The clear targets and potential for extension motivate the former Real Betis player to achieve success to secure his position.

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