Augustine Eguavoen takes over Super Eagles top job

Augustine Eguavoen takes over Super Eagles top job
Photo by Icon Sport

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has resolved the managerial situation with the Super Eagles following the departure of silver medal-winning coach Jose Peseiro.

Peseiro called it quits with the Nigerian national team with a social media announcement on Friday evening. The NFF has wasted no time in replacing the Portuguese gaffer.

The Peseiro tenure was tumultuous, as many fans did not fancy his approach to the game.

He came under intense criticism before and during AFCON 2023.

Despite leading the Super Eagles to a silver medal – losing their only game to the hosts Ivory Coast in the final, it was not enough to assuage many fans.

The Portuguese gaffer, who also led the Venezuelan national team before taking up the Super Eagles job, saw his contract run out on February 29.

The NFF has announced former Super Eagles defender Augustine Eguavoen as the new coach.

Eguavoen returns to the helm of the Super Eagles

Eguavoen succeeds Peseiro as Super Eagles coach
Photo by Icon Sport

Former Super Eagles defender Augustine Eguavoen is back at the helm for the Super Eagles, albeit in an interim capacity.

The departure of former coach Peseiro on Friday evening at the expiration of his contract left a vacuum, which the football federation has quickly filled.

Eguavoen is not new to the Nigeria senior national team, and this will be his fifth stint leading the team (including acting as the Technical Director).

The last stint of the Eguavoen came after the former manager, Gernot Rohr, was fired.

Eguavoen led Nigeria to AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, where the team crashed out in the round of 16 following a 0-1 loss to Tunisia.

He lost his job after Nigeria failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. They played a 1-1 aggregate score against the Black Stars of Ghana but lost on away goals.

The failure to land the ticket to Qatar saw the NFF bring the hammer down.

George Finidi to assist Eguavoen

George Finidi is new Super Eagles assistant coach
Photo by Daniel Bardou / Onze / Icon Sport )

There had been rumours that the job would be a straight fight between former U-17 World Cup-winning coach Emmanuel Amuneke and Enyimba coach George Finidi.

Many tipped Finidi to land the role, but the NFF opted for Eguavoen, who seems to have become their go-to guy.

Finidi also assisted Peseiro as Nigeria landed a silver medal in Ivory Coast. He is in his first domestic role with Enyimba, who currently sit atop the NPFL log.

The question on many lips is whether this is the best the NFF can do.

Fans would have preferred a coach in a permanent role, as the Super Eagles will be busy this year.

In his first stint as coach, Eguavoen led the Super Eagles to a third-place finish at AFCON 2006 in Egypt.

Many hope Eguavoen will bring the attractive and result-oriented style they have craved.

The Super Eagles have World Cup qualifying matches in June, where they will square off with South Africa and the Benin Republic.

AFCON qualifiers are also around the corner, with games planned for March.

The friendly between the Super Eagles and Argentina is off the cards, but the NFF intends to find another team to test the team.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.