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Super Eagles coach: It is the turn of the North

As the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) prepares for the appointment of a new head coach for the Super Eagles, one issue is creating apprehension; who…

As the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) prepares for the appointment of a new head coach for the Super Eagles, one issue is creating apprehension; who will be the next head coach of the team and from where? Is it going to be yet another foreign coach or will the NFF go with the majority of the football-loving Nigerians calling for the appointment of an indigenous coach? All these questions are expected to be addressed by the NFF sooner than later to enable the newly appointed coach to prepare his team for the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic on June 3 and 10, respectively.

But, wherever the pendulum of this argument swings, the fact remains that it is the turn of the North. It is our turn to coach the team for the first time in the history of this country.

Since 1945 when the football federation was established, there have been 40 coaches (foreign and indigenous) that led the national team. It is sad to say that all the 12 indigenous coaches that oversaw the affairs of the Super Eagles came from the Southern part of the country, and not a single person was ever given an opportunity from the North either by chance or by accident, or even on merit.

The North was able to produce high profile coaches in the likes of Salisu Yusuf, Usman Abdallah, Abdul Maikaba and Babaganaru Mohammed. These coaches are all worthy enough to head the Super Eagles and are all capable of restoring our football’s pride to an international stage. Take Salisu Yusuf for example, he is a master tactician and understands the nitty-gritty of taking the Super Eagles to a greater height. He worked with Gernot Rohr, Sunday Oliseh, Samson Siasia, late Stephen Keshi, Augustine Eguavoen, and of course Jose Peseiro. His profile speaks volumes. He worked in various capacities with Enyimba International, Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers and Rivers United; to mention just a few. Salisu has a 100 per cent record as he won all his two matches in an interim capacity. Shockingly, he was denied the opportunity to be the head coach.

Recall that the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF appointed the likes of late Stephen Keshi and Sunday Oliseh as Super Eagles head coaches and the same administration extended the same gesture to Augustine Eguavoen but could not do same to either Salisu Yusuf, Babaganaru Mohammed, Abdul Maikaba or Usman Abdallah.

As Ibrahim Musa Gusau’s tenure as the NFF president continues, it is an opportunity to produce its first-ever Super Eagles head coach from the region after about 80 years of establishing the football body.

The Gusau administration needs to understand that zoning or rotating the head coach of the Super Eagles may not be a bad idea. In fact, it is for the benefit of all Nigerians and will further strengthen unity in the country as no region will feel shortchanged.

The North is now ready to contribute its quarter to the national development Mr President is doing. We want to compete and contribute football wise. We want to tell the world that not everything negative is associated with the North. We have many things that we are good at, and FOOTBALL is one of the many. The NFF should do the needful and become resolute and settle with an indigenous coach from the North.


Kabiru Yakasai can be reached via [email protected].


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