Nigeria legend Segun Odegbami advises NFF on the future Super Eagles coach

Segun Odegbami advises NFF || Imago and Channels TV

Nigeria legend Segun Odegbami advises NFF on the future Super Eagles coach

Stephen Oladehinde 14:14 - 09.03.2024

Segun Odegbami, the celebrated winner of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to prioritize appointing a Nigerian head coach for the Super Eagles.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are currently without a head coach after Jose Peseiro who led the team to the 2023 AFCON final ran down his contract. 

As it stands the NFF are currently looking for a good replacement for the head coach position and have placed an advert for the required slot.

Indigenous Coaches the Way Forward, Asserts Odegbami

With a history that boasts only one foreign coach, Dutch tactician Clemens Westerhof, guiding the Eagles to glory at the 1994 AFCON, Odegbami emphasizes the need for indigenous leadership in steering Nigeria's football destiny.

"Nigeria must now place her destiny in the hands of qualified and patriotic Nigerians," Odegbami stated emphatically in his column in the Complete Sports.

 "The Super Eagles must carry the banner of Nigeria proudly and without any dilution of its spirit to achieve ultimate greatness in the world. The coach of the Super Eagles must wear the country’s ambition like a cloak."

Super Eagles team at the AFCON 2023 || Imago
Super Eagles team at the AFCON 2023 || Imago

Odegbami's sentiment echoes a growing consensus among Nigerian football enthusiasts. Despite notable foreign successes, such as Jose Peseiro guiding the team to the 2023 AFCON final, the essence of national pride and passion, Odegbami argues, can only be fully captured by a Nigerian coach.

"If the price of the elevation of Nigeria and the emancipation of the Black Race is that we ‘lose’ now to gain experience and eventual success, we must pay that price. 

“That is the route to go," Odegbami emphasized. "No more foreign coaches in Nigeria! Let us sink or swim with Nigerians, even in football!"

Nigeria Icon Segun Odegbami || The Guardian Nigeria
Nigeria Icon Segun Odegbami || The Guardian Nigeria

NFF's Next Move Crucial Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers

With the looming clash against bitter rivals South Africa in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in June, the NFF faces a critical decision. 

The vacant position of the Super Eagles head coach demands swift action, especially after the disappointment of missing out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

While Nigerian coaches such as Emmanuel Amunike, George Finidi, and Sylvanus Okpala have shown interest in the role, the NFF's ultimate decision will set the tone for Nigeria's football trajectory. 

Will they heed Odegbami's rallying cry and entrust the future of the Super Eagles to homegrown talent? Only time will tell.