** Makes case for indigenous coaches
By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Disappointed by the overall performance of the Super Eagles against host, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the epic final of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 at the Alassanne Quattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan on Sunday night, a ranking Senator of the Federal Republic, Distinguished Senator Osita Izunaso has called for a total overhaul of Super Eagles team before the commencement of the 2026 FIFA World Cup African qualifiers later in the year.
This is even as Izunaso who is the Senator representing Imo West in Nigeria’s Red Chambers has also made a case for qualifed indigenous coaches to be given equal opportunities given to expatriate managers to lead the Super Eagles going forward.
He added that the time has come for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to learn from other African countries like Cote d’Ivoire which gave their citizen, Emerse Fae a chance to led the Elephants to AFCON trophy after French-born Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked in the middle of the competition due to poor results in the early stage of the football fiesta.
Izunaso who was reacting to Nigeria’s 1-2 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the AFCON 2023 final on Sunday night in Abidjan told Prompt News that there is need for the total overhaul of Super Eagles to ensure better performance next time.
According to him the Nigerian team was very lethargic on the night and did not do enough like they did in the previous matches to have won the encounter, pointing out that the Ivoriens were better and deserved their victory.
Said he: “I commend the Super Eagles for their efforts to reach the final but truth be told, our boys were very lethargic against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. In fact, our players looked out of sort and I believe fatigue set in to prevent them from doing much”.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market and Institutions argued that there are many visible lapses observed in the team throughout the competition and therefore called on NFF to carry out
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“I charge the NFF to overhaul the team by bringing in quality players that can help the team going forward. I will also like to see our Nigerian coaches handling our national teams including the Super Eagles.
“Our football administrators should look inwards and borrow a leaf from countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal to mention but a few could hire indigenous coaches, I believe Nigeria can do that too. We have more than enough qualified coaches to handle our national teams”, Izunaso stated.