• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Finidi appointed his assistants, not NFF – Gusau


The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, has dismissed rumours that the federation imposed assistants on newly appointed Super Eagles coach Finidi George.

The 53-year-old Rivers-born coach was recently unveiled as Super Eagles head coach at an event held in the Conference Room of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

During the event, the NFF also introduced the assistants who will support Finidi during his tenure: Daniel Amokachi, Benjamin James, Olatunji Baruwa, Chima Onyeike, and Mehmet Ozturk.

This announcement raised questions about whether the NFF had imposed these assistants on Finidi as part of his contract. Speaking on Soccer Africa, NFF President Gusau clarified that Finidi personally selected his assistants, and the NFF did not impose any names on him.

“I was very happy when we unveiled Finidi to Nigeria. The NFF Technical Director put all the names on the list, and they chose the best they felt would work. All the names you saw as assistants to Finidi were chosen by him,” Gusau said.

Finidi selected his 1994 Super Eagles teammate Amokachi as one of his assistants, with Olatunji Baruwa retaining his role as the goalkeeper’s trainer, a position he held under Jose Peseiro. They will be joined on the technical bench by Benjamin James as the second assistant, Chima Onyeike as the fitness trainer, and Mehmet Ozturk as the match analyst.

There has also been mixed information within the Nigerian football community regarding the duration of Finidi George’s contract with the NFF, with some reports suggesting a one-year term and others indicating two years. Gusau clarified that Finidi’s contract is not limited to one year.

“Finidi’s contract is not a one-year contract. His target is to get us to the semi-finals of the AFCON and qualify us for the World Cup in 2026. Our contract with Peseiro ended, and we asked Finidi to take charge of the friendlies during the FIFA window. We listened to Nigeria’s call for an indigenous coach for the Super Eagles,” the NFF President added.

Finidi’s contract with the NFF is performance-based, with an initial one-year term and an option to extend for another year if performance targets are met.

If the AFCON targets in 2025 are not achieved, there will be no contract renewal for 2026. This performance-based contract is designed to ensure hard work and results, motivating the former Real Betis player to achieve success and secure his position.