The Nigerian football news scene is abuzz with the latest information coming out of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) about who will lead the Nigeria national football team from the dugout going forward. Salisu Yusuf is the latest name to spark talk.
Sources are claiming that the Ibrahim Gusau-led NFF have plans to terminate Portuguese manager José Peseiro's contract in June, barely a year after he officially took up the job.
This is so that the NFF can hand the reins of the Super Eagles to Salisu Yusuf, the current Nigeria under-23 manager who has been criticised for various reasons including bribery and team selection misdemeanours in the past.
🚨 Super Eagles’ Jose Peseiro contract ends in June
– NFF yet and doesn’t look like they will renew the Portuguese contract.
– Salisu Yusuf to come in as the interim coach depending on if an agreement is reached
– Salisu is the only assistant with a contract with the NFF pic.twitter.com/oNerHgCR38
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) May 15, 2023
Peseiro contract to end in June; Salisu to step in on the interim
It remains unconfirmed but multiple sources within the NFF claim that the Ibrahim Gusau-led federation are not considering tabling an offer before Peseiro, whose contract expires in June.
It is unknown whether the Nigerian football governing body is taking this route due to their issues with clearing the Portuguese tacticians wage backlog in the past or if it is because of his lack of tangible results from the last few games.
Goalball Live can confirm, however, that Peseiro signed a one-year contract with the NFF to be the Nigeria national football team manager and his extension would depend on him winning the upcoming AFCON 2023 tournament which was initially scheduled to hold this year in Ivory Coast but was postponed to next year.
OFFICIAL: The NFF appoints Portuguese José Peseiro as the NEW Head Coach of 🇳🇬 Super Eagles with immediate effect
•Finidi George 1st Assistant
•Salisu Yusuf 2nd Assistant
•Usman Abdallah 3rd Assistant
•Ike Shorounmu Goalkeeper Trainer
•Eboboritse Uwejamomere Match Analyst
— UNCLE DEJI™️ (@DejiAdesogan) May 15, 2022
Sources within the NFF claim that there was no agreement with Peseiro other than this and that the governing body's technical committee have decided to hand over the reins to Salisu Yusuf, who currently serves as the second assistant coach for the Nigeria Super Eagles.
Yusuf is currently the most senior coach in the NFF setup and the only one who has a direct contract with the governing body.
Should they decide against Peseiro, he will be leading the Super Eagles for the next few months, including to the AFCON qualifiers 2023 match against Sao Tome and Principe in September.
Salisu Yusuf a terrible option for interim manager
Salisu Yusuf has been in the dynamics of the Nigeria national football team for a long time. He has served in several capacities within the Super Eagles under different managers and was also appointed as the team's chief coach in 2016.
His most recent job was with the Olympic Eagles, the U-23 Nigeria national football team. He was charged with helping them qualify for the 2024 Olympics but failed.
Yusuf has been a divisive figure in Nigerian football for years. The BBC indicted him in a bribery scandal with video evidence in 2018 ahead of the CHAN tournament in the same year. He was suspended for one year and reinstated and given several opportunities after then.
~This is Salisu Yusuf taking kickbacks.
~He was disgraced out of office.
~Banned for just 1 year.
~NFF recalled him back as an assistant coach.
~He is being paid ₦3m per month from tax payers money.
~To cap it all, he's been assigned Enugu Rangers'Coach!
— Anambra 1st son (@UchePOkoye) January 20, 2020
Yusuf has not been able to prove his tactical nous at any level of the national team, although he has had moderate success in the Nigeria Professional Football League. The choice of Salisu may seem logical but his integration in the team in the first place is a terrible precedent.
Switching managers at such a crucial stage will also not do the Super Eagles any good and Yusuf is not the right man for the job.
This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago