Under-23 national team, Olympic Eagles’ coach, Imama Amapakabo has sensationally disclosed that he has not been briefed about the return of national team assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf from suspension, hence his decision to take the news with a pinch of salt.
Although Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stated yesterday that Salisu has fully served his single year ban by world soccer governing body, FIFA, which means he can return to his post in the Eagles, Amapakabo insists he is still in the dark over the development, but admits hearing about it in the media.
The ex-youth international goalkeeper spoke against the backdrop of a press release on Thursday by the NFF, which identified Salisu as the Eagles’ chief coach and noted that he ‘has now fully served the one-year suspension clamped on him last year.’
The NFF used the same release to thank Amapakabo for what the soccer body described as ‘his sterling efforts while in charge of the U23 National Team in the absence of the suspended Yusuf,’ which many observers inferred to mean that the ex-keeper would soon be asked to step aside.
Though that possibility is now looming large, Amapakabo told Brila FM early Friday that he is still working with some home-based players that were retained from the array of Olympic Eagles’ lads that beat Sudan on Tuesday, as they prepare to play Benin Republic in the Championship of African Nations (CHAN 2020) qualifiers.
Dramatically, the NFF also thanked Amapakabo over his efforts while in charge of the Olympic Eagles and ‘for eventually seeing to the team’s qualification for the U23 AFCON,’ which further lent credence to the possibility of him being relieved of that duty, but the man under focus says he is still awaiting a formal declaration and official directive from The Glasshouse.
Amapakabo stated: “Nobody has told me anything. All I know is that I have heard something like that said in the news, but I have not been briefed. So, I take it with a pinch of salt.
“I will still go about my normal duties for now. I have been told to prepare the team for the CHAN qualifiers against Benin Republic, and that is what I am doing for now.”