Portuguese soccer tactician, Jose Peseiro will take over as head coach of the Super Eagles after the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, but he will be there in Cameroon to monitor the squad as an ‘observer’ from close quarters, sportsdayonline.com reports.
This verdict was disclosed Wednesday at the end of the executive committee meeting of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), whose members also agreed to retain Augustine Eguavoen as Eagles’ interim coach for the competition in Cameroon.
The meeting, which held virtually, via video conference, also resolved that the NFF technical committee should organise at least one build-up match for the Eagles when they arrive at their AFCON base camp in Garoua, Cameroon.
That means the Eagles may end up playing a Grade-B game, most likely against a Cameroon top-flight league club, few days after landing in Cameroon on January 5, ahead of their first game of the competition against Egypt on January 11.
Nigerian football followers would, however, warn the NFF to thread softly with Peseiro, who resigned from his last post in charge of Venezuela’s national team, less than two weeks ahead of a triple-header of World Cup qualifiers, because he had not been paid for a year.
The Portuguese tactician, who was recommended to the NFF by former Chelsea gaffer, Jose Mourinho, was appointed in February 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
A report from South America confirmed that he was owed ‘no more and no less than one year’ of salary, adding that ‘he’s hardly been paid anything from his tenure,’ during which he oversaw one win, three draws and six defeats as coach of La Vinotinto.
The incoming Eagles’ gaffer is expected in Abuja on Sunday and join the squad to Cameroon three days later, but he will officially take over for the World Cup qualifiers final playoff.
He will seek victory from that fixture that will be played on home and away basis between March 21 and 29, 2022, to determine one of five teams to represent Africa at Qatar 2022.
A six-point communiqué released by the communications department of the NFF after the meeting stated in part: “After careful consideration of a memo presented by Chairman of the Technical and Development Sub-Committee.
“The Executive Committee endorsed a proposal for the appointment of Mr Jose Peseiro as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles, following the end to the relationship with Mr Gernot Rohr.
“However, the Committee resolved that Mr Augustine Eguavoen, named the interim Head Coach, will lead the Super Eagles to the AFCON 2021 in Cameroon with Mr Peseiro 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.
“The Executive Committee mandated the Technical and Development Committee as well as the NFF Secretariat to organize a friendly match for the Super Eagles when the team arrives in Garoua for the AFCON 2021.
“And also to arrange matches for the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons in upcoming FIFA windows for international friendlies.”