Renard or Finidi George? Competence, not colour, should determine next Super Eagles coach

Renard or Finidi George? Competence, not colour, should determine next Super Eagles coach

Nigeria will be back in action in June when the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers return to the front burner, but the Super Eagles are yet to have a substantive head coach.

The three-time African champions are scheduled to face South Africa on June 7 in Uyo before taking on Benin Republic in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire a few days later but they do not have their house in order.

With regards to the Super Eagles’ slow start to the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the lingering disappointment of missing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the ongoing situation in Nigerian football is baffling, with less than two months to the next competitive fixture.

While some stakeholders are clamouring for a domestic coach at the hem, another section of Nigerians believe a foreign coach should succeed Jose Peseiro who led the team to the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

With the World Cup ticket at stake, it is pertinent for the Nigeria Football Federation to prioritise competence over colour.

If Nigeria finds itself in a situation where a foreign coach is qualified and capable of leading the team to the 2026 showpiece in the United States, Mexico and Canada, NFF should do all it takes to make it happen irrespective of financial cost.

In driving financial capability, Ibrahim Gusau-led board can work with brands and individuals that will assist the federation in taking care of the new head coach’s salaries.

On the other hand, if a domestic coach is in shape for the job and has what it takes, it should be a case of competence and not where the coach comes from.

Reports are linking former FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning coach, Emmanuel Amunike to the vacant Super Eagles head coach role, as well as the interim coach Finidi George who led the team to Morocco for the last two friendly games against Ghana and Mali.

There have also been speculations that two-time AFCON-winning coach, Herve Renard is also on the shortlist, but financial capability is likely to be the biggest factor for a decision to be made.

In conclusion, the Nigeria Football Federation should not just any coach to fill the void created by Peseiro’s exit but they should make it a point of duty to appoint a tactician that will erase the disappointment of the 2023 AFCON final and lead the country to glory at 2025 AFCON in Morocco and qualification for the 2026 World Cup.

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