Eagles coach: Oliseh faults recruitment process, says he didn’t apply


Johnny Edward

Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, has denied applying for the vacant coaching position in the national team and faults the application process for the job, The PUNCH reports.

On March 8, the Nigeria Football Federation declared the position of the Eagles’ head coach vacant, following the exit of Portuguese Jose Peseiro, who led the side to a second-place finish at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in February.

In an advertisement on its website, the federation called for applications with a March 13 deadline. The football governing body stated that the prospective Eagles coach “must have proven experience at the elite level of football.”

Our correspondent learnt that over 50 coaches have been reportedly shortlisted for the vacant Eagles job by the NFF.

“I did not apply for the Eagles job, reports that stated so are false,” Oliseh told The PUNCH.

“I only stated that if Nigeria needed my help as a coach I would be willing to help if the conditions are right. I’m open to helping Nigeria but I did not apply for the job.”

Oliseh, who succeeded the late Stephen Keshi as Eagles coach in 2015, faulted the application process for the vacant Eagles job.

“Let’s look at it this way, when Jurgen Klopp came out last month to announce that he was leaving his position as coach of Liverpool, did you hear or read anywhere that the club announced that coaches should apply for the job?

“The only thing they (Liverpool) are doing currently is they are in search of a coach that fits their philosophy and style.

“If we (Nigeria) cannot offer our indigenous coaches opportunities to help the country’s football, then who else will?”

He backed his former national teammates Emmanuel Amuneke and George Finidi to succeed Peseiro. Both coaches are the leading contenders for the vacant job.

“Everyone knows I’m an advocate of an indigenous coach to lead the Eagles, those two (Amuneke and Finidi) are good for the job,” Oliseh said.

“Anybody who really understands football will know that the Eagles don’t need a foreign coach, but the indigenous coach must have a great personality.

“I’m against foreign coach for our national team. It was a local coach that won the AFCON for Ivory Coast and the previous one for Senegal.”

Oliseh, who took over as Eagles coach in July 2015, led the team to 14 international assignments and lost just two.

But one of the major talking points of his seven-month career as coach of the Eagles was his misunderstanding with Vincent Enyeama, which eventually forced the goalkeeper to quit international football.

Oliseh, who quit the Eagles in February 2016 cited “contract violations, lack of support, unpaid wages, benefits to my players, assistant coaches and myself” for his resignation.