“Accident waiting to happen” – Nigeria legend Odegbami gives his take on a foreign coach for Super Eagles

The former Afcon kings are presently without a handler following the disbandment of the Augustine Eguaveon-led coaching crew

1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner Segun Odegbami has frowned at the hiring of a foreign coach for the Super Eagles following the failure of the previous crew.

The Nigeria Football Federation sacked the Super Eagles’ coaching crew led by Augustine Eguavoen after the team failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Eguavoen had taken up the temporary job following the dismissal of German gaffer Gernot Rohr in December. Former Super Eagles winger Emmanuel Amuneke was added to Eguavoen’s backroom staff, which already had ex-internationals Joseph Yobo and Alloy Agu, after the Eagles’ early elimination at the 2021 Afcon in January.

But the NFF withdrew the contract it had offered the coaches days after the Super Eagles lost on aggregate to Ghana in the final World Cup playoff.

And after a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Sports last week, the under-fire NFF President Amaju Pinnick revealed that a new head coach would be appointed for the Super Eagles in the coming days.

Odegbami is worried that the body language of the NFF points towards the hiring of yet another foreign coach for the Super Eagles, especially with the last one failing to lift a title of any kind with the team. The last time the Eagles won the Africa Cup of Nations was under home-grown Stephen Keshi in 2013.

And Odegbami is convinced that allowing NFF’s non-technical technical committee to appoint an unproven European for the Super Eagles less than six months after sacking the last one could spell doom.

“Except there has been a foreign coach in waiting, given the manner the teams’ technical crews were sent packing, this is already an accident-waiting-to-happen,” the former Shooting Stars forward wrote in his column for Complete Sports.

“It is a hurried, medicine-after-death prescription.

“Definitely, another foreign coach, so soon after the 6 wasted years of Gernot Rohr that were the foundation of the present poor state of domestic as well as international football in Nigeria, is not a well-thought-out-enough reaction to the present fiasco.

“The issue of another foreign coach at this time is delicate. It will definitely get the full attention of those of us vehemently opposed to going back to that old, tested and failed route – hiring unknown, journey-man coaches without pedigree, or serious credentials, from Europe on the basis of the colour of their skin and the ‘slavery mentality’ that Whites are of superior knowledge and experience, without any evidence in our history that they achieved what Nigerians never did.”

Since the turn of the millennium in 2000, the Super Eagles have had four foreigners – Jo Bonfrère, Berti Vogts, Lars Lagerbäck, and Rohr – as head coaches, with none winning anything with the team.

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