Home SPORTS GIST Athletics NIGERIA APPOINT A PORTUGUESE, JOSÉ PESEIRO AS THE NEW COACH

NIGERIA APPOINT A PORTUGUESE, JOSÉ PESEIRO AS THE NEW COACH

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BY OYEWUNMI KAFAYAT

On Wednesday, former Porto and Sporting CP coach José Peseiro was chosen as Nigeria’s new coach, but he will not take over until after the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 61-year-old, who resigned as Venezuela coach in August due to unpaid wages, replaces Gernot Rohr who was sacked two weeks ago.

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who did not give any details about Peseiro’s contract, added that interim manager “Augustin Eguavoen will lead the Super Eagles to the AFCON 2021”, while the new coach will be in Cameroon “only playing the role of observer.”

“It was unanimously agreed that the AFCON is a good avenue for Mr. Peseiro to launch a working relationship with Mr. Eguavoen, who will revert to his role as Technical Director (hence Mr. Peseiro’s immediate boss) after the AFCON,” a statement from the NFF said.

Peseiro’s first game in charge will be during the African World Cup play-offs in March, where the former assistant of Carlos Queiroz at Real Madrid will be hoping to seal a seventh World Cup appearance for the West African nation.

NFF president Amaju Pinnick had boldly claimed – this month – that he spoke with Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger for guidance during his quest for a new foreign manager for the three-time African champions.

Peseiro takes over a team that struggled and was heavily criticized throughout 2022 World Cup qualifying owing to bad results against lower-ranked opponents.

The new man’s most notable achievement came during the first of two stints at Sporting CP in 2004/05. He guided them to third place in the Portuguese league and the UEFA Cup final, but he stepped down early the following season due to poor results.

He has also coached Porto, Vitoria Guimaraes and Braga in his native Portugal, as well as teams in Saudi Arabia, Greece and the United Arab Emirates.

A short stint with Egyptian giants Al Ahly between 2005 and 2006 counts as his sole experience in Africa.

Gernot Rohr, who took command of Nigeria in August 2016 and led them to the 2018 World Cup and a third-place finish at the 2019 Nations Cup, stepped down as the country’s longest-serving manager.

However, some Super Eagles followers and the extremely critical local media have been skeptical of his successor’s appointment as new manager.

To win over Nigeria’s demanding fans, Peseiro will have to outperform his predecessor.

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