Saturday, May 18, 2024

Finidi unveiled as Super Eagles’ coach, targets 2026 World Cup qualification

The board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) appointed George as the Super Eagles’ head coach on April 19.

• May 13, 2024
Finidi George
Finidi George [Credit: Punch Newspaper]

Finidi George, the head coach of the Super Eagles, says his immediate task and priority is to qualify the nation for the 2026 World Cup slated for Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) appointed George as the Super Eagles’ head coach on April 19.

George spoke at his unveiling as the new head coach at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Monday in Abuja.

“For me, my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the 2026 World Cup; the AFCON qualifiers will also be coming up soon,” said the former Ajax Amsterdam winger and assistant to former Super Eagles gaffer Jose Peseiro.

“But the major target for me is the two games we have; we will do everything to win against South Africa and the Benin Republic, and once we do that, we will have set the tone, and we will take it from there,” he added.

The coach warned that going forward, players will be invited to the Super Eagles based on regular playing time in their clubs and commitment to the national team.

He dismisses insinuations about a rift with some Super Eagles players, stressing that his relationship with them was “perfect” and professional.

Earlier, NFF President Ibrahim Gusau said the coach would be given all the support he needed to succeed in the task ahead.

The Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh, stressed the importance of supporting indigenous coaches to succeed.

“Any country I find an indigenous coach sitting on the bench, I always feel very proud, and I am glad that we have an opportunity to have a Nigerian coach, Finidi George, as football men national team coach, ” he said.

The details of the contract were not revealed.

The coach has picked ex-international Daniel Amokachi as assistant coach, Olatunji Baruwa as goalkeeper trainer, Mehmet Ozturk as match analyst, and Benjamin James and Chima Onyeike as fitness trainers.

The coach’s immediate task is to get the Super Eagles back on track in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Nigeria currently sits third in Group C, with two points from two matches.

Nigeria drew with Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November’s first two matches in the qualifying series.

The Super Eagles will face South Africa and the Benin Republic in June in what has been described as a make or mar clash.

(NAN) 

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