Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: ‘One step at a time’ – NFF undecided on Eguavoen’s Nigeria future

3:22 PM GMT 21/01/2022
Augustine Eguavoen
The country’s football ruling body has stressed they are not in a rush to decide if the 56-year-old will remain as Super Eagles’ handler after Afcon

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed it’s still uncertain if Augustine Eguavoen will be named Nigeria’s permanent coach even if he wins the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

With Gernot Rohr shown the exit door in December due to poor performances, NFF technical director Eguavoen was named on an interim basis to lead the country to Cameroon 2021.

As his contract stipulates, he will quit the role for Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro after the 33rd edition of the biennial African football showpiece.

In the wake of the Super Eagles’ impressive performance at Afcon – where the three-time African champions won all three games – Nigerians have expressed their desire to see the 56-year-old continue in that capacity.

Even at that, the onus is on the NFF to grant that wish or stick with Peseiro – who had previously handled Saudi Arabia, FC Porto and Venezuela.

GOAL asked the NFF Director of Communications Ademola Olajire if the country’s football ruling body will ask Eguavoen to continue as head coach should he lead the Super Eagles to a fourth African triumph: he said: “We are taking things one step at a time and we still have four matches to play.

“It’s just another day, another team and another strategy.

“When that happens, the federation will also sit and look at the generality of all matters and come to a decision.”

Nigeria square up against Tunisia in the Round of 16 on Sunday and victory for them will see them face either Burkina Faso or Gabon in the quarterfinals.

Despite being coy on Eguavoen's future, Olajire is bullish of the Super Eagles ability to lift the trophy for the fourth time come the final on 6 February.

“I am very confident because the team looks so good and so bold,” he continued.

“They are very innovative; six goals in three games is not bad. They create a lot of chances and when that happens, the team is bound to get a chance to move to the next state.

“In all honesty, this team has all it takes to go all the way to the final.”

In a related development, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele revealed that Cacovid (a coalition of private sector companies set up to fight Covid pandemic in Nigeria) will shell out the sum of $120,000 for the six goals already scored by the Eagles in Cameroon, and $50,000 for every goal in the Round of 16 clash with Tunisia.