There are strong indications that the Nigeria Football Federation will axe Daniel Amokachi as assistant coach of the Super Eagles following Stephen Keshi’s return as chief coach of Nigeria.
Amokachi stated after Nigeria’s defeat against Uganda in an international friendly on March 25, 2015 that he was not in charge of the team selection for that game but Keshi. The Eagles lost 1-0 in that game and four days later were held to a 1-1 draw by the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
Feelers have it that the Nigeria Football Federation may have decided to use the quota system in appointing the next assistant coach of the Eagles, a situation which will mean that Amokachi will be shown the exit door as the NFF would rather prefer someone from the core northern state. Amokachi is from the north central state of Benue State. He is not from the north!.
Amokachi seemingly betrayed his returnee boss, Keshi by insinuating that he, Amokachi, was not responsible for assembling a team that lost to a lowly Uganda of all teams, and further failed to impress against South Africa.
Completesportsnigeria.com’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI and JAMES AGBEREBI sought the views of some of Nigeria’s former national team coaches and football administrators on the the principles that should guide the Glass House’s appointment of a new Super Eagles assistant coach. They concur that quota system mindset is an aberration.
Former Super Eagles chief coach Adegboye Onigbinde speaks on how an assistant coach pulled more powers than him whilst in charge as the coach of the national team. He affirms that the Nigeria Football Federation should have a say on who works with Keshi, but the recommendation should be made by the head coach.
Onigbinde in his usual educative way, tells Completesportsnigeria.com that all parties involved have a limit to the duties expected of them.
“On the question of assistant coach of the Super Eagles, I concede to the powers of the Nigeria Football Federation to have a say on who will assist the chief coach. But as a technician, I see it from another angle. It is like when people are telling a coach what player to use or the pattern to adopt in a game. It is the person who is in charge of a team as coach that should decide who and who will be on board to execute his programme for the team. It is the same when you are looking at the job of the assistant coach of any team in the world.
“Looking at the Nigerian factor, I had an experience of an assistant who had the ears of the authorities more than I had and it caused a lot of problems for me because he came in through these authorities, so I did not have much control over him.
“And that was why when I was going to the World Cup in 2002, I personally selected five coaches who assisted me.
“And at a point, the NFA back then said they were many and that any time we are travelling, only two coaches should go. And when I selected them, I know what assignment I wanted them to do for me. And if you remember, the team broke down in Mali 2002 mainly because of indiscipline, I was with the team for three months because everybody knew what they were there to do, but again that has become history.
“So in the interest of Nigerian football, all these things should be ironed out between the employee and the employer.
Onigbinde tells the NFF and coaches of the national teams that such issues like the appointment of assistant coaches should be imbedded in their contracts.
“These issues should have been included in the negotiations when the (Keshi) contract was signed. If that didn’t happen, then I don’t know what we are doing. And I am not open to the content of the contract and I don’t know what the details are. So I think the best thing is to leave the whole issue to Keshi and his employers.
“But I want to repeat all this issue should have been sorted out before the contract was signed.
Unless there is an established rule like the NFF statutes or NOC charter that provides for equitable distribution of positions.”
Quota System Madness
Former football administrator Gara ‘Gombe’ Ahmed is not in support of the Nigerian quota system but is blunt in expressing his lack of fate in Daniel Amokachi, and categorical in his endorsement of Salisu Yusuf who is in line to be appointed as the new assistant coach of the Super Eagles.
The former football administrator however says such a situation could only arise if there is an existing law that stipulates appointments should be based on where a person comes from.
Apart from the statutes which Gara Gombe talks about, are there positives in recycling coaches? Does recycling coaches guarantee more of stability or does it lead to complacency? Our resource person, Gara Gombe Ahmed again, explains his views on the knotty subject.
“Stability can only be achieved when there is productivity. Besides, we do not have a National Coaches Development framework. So we are left with recycling coaches at all levels. Most of our successful coaches were products of divine wisdom,” the outspoken Gara Gombe Ahmed tells Completesportsnigeria.com.
Gara Gombe however endorses Salisu Yusuf who has been tipped to take over as the assistant coach of the Super Eagles.
“Yusuf is humble, technically sound and can give Keshi 100% loyalty. Amokachi is over ambitious,” Gara Gombe declares categorically..
Gara Gombe insists that Keshi’s return in the first place is a dent on his record.
“Keshi’s return is not good for his own good. It shows how desperate about getting the job. The NFF have not done themselves justice too because they wanted some pride, but don’t have the money to achieve that,” the former Chairman of the Gombe State FA and Chairman of Gombe United FC states.
Onigbinde however remarks that the harsh reality in present Nigeria is one that the people would have to accept the quota system as a way of life, which inadvertently has affected football.
“I always say something in my circular there is a difference between the ideal and reality. The ideal is a dream and not all dreams come through.
“Whatever ideal you have, if you don’t relate it with reality, you are in trouble. The reality of Nigerian situation is this quota system.
“But again you cannot say that in the whole of the north you cannot find a single person that could be used. So there is no excuse to exclude the north, the east, the south and so on, that is the reality of Nigerian situation. The ideal thing is to have the best hands. If five assistants come from the same family and they are the best, I have no problem with that, but that is an ideal and you have to relate the ideal with reality if you want to succeed,” the Modakeke High Chief concludes.
“In Nigeria, we have been working on quota system
all along, but it is not supposed to be so anyway. If you can deliver then quota system has nothing to do with it. If we are going to rely on that to progress then I am sorry, the work will not be done.
“It was unfortunate that things were not put in their right perspective before Keshi came in. Keshi is the one that is supposed to pick his assistant and it is not supposed to be the other way round. It is not supposed to be an issue; they should have settled everything before he was reappointed.
Former Flying Eagles and Super Eagles star Taju Disu believes Amokachi’s outspoken nature was the reason why his job is on the line. And he agrees that quota system mentality has reared it’s ugly head.
“Many Nigerian coaches will not speak up even when things are going very wrong. I don’t really think it is because Amokachi said he was not in charge of that list for the Uganda and South Africa friendlies. The plan for a quota system has been mooted before now,” Disu offers.
“The NFF want to work with coaches they can control. Amokachi has paid the price for the kind of person he is. He is someone who does not pretend and hide his feelings – that is why he is being considered for a sack.
“Yusuf is a sound coach nonetheless, but if really the talk of Amokachi being considered for a sack is true, then it is unfair. Nigerian coaches must speak with one voice and support their own. Amokachi has always expressed his satisfaction working with Keshi.”
Complete Sports Verdict
Completesportsnigeria.com says that the Nigeria Football Federation should do the needful: eschew any quota system slant, agree with Keshi and appoint a competent hand as assistant coach. Let this happen as the Glass House already planned for next week. The coaches ought to be busy now in camp ahead of the 2017 AFCON qualifiers. The best hands should constitute the Super Eagles coaching staff and playing personnel irrespective of which corner of Nigeria they hail from. Yes, quota system here is an aberration.
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