By: Abiodun Adewale
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, says the NFF will put to rest the lingering contract issues of the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons coaches before their respective assignments next month.
This is coming in the wake of the uncertainty over the contracts of Jose Peseiro, who handles the Eagles, and Randy Waldrum, who just led the Falcons to the round of 16 at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Both coaches are deemed to have seen out their respective contracts with the NFF, but Gusau, while speaking on Kennis FM on Tuesday, said the NFF would make a decision on both coaches next month.
“We are still on it and very soon Nigerians will get the information of where we are about the issue of the coaches. As you know, next month, we (Eagles) have the last match of the AFCON qualifiers against Sao Tome, so before then, everything will be concluded,” Gusau said.
Eagles coach Peseiro was appointed in May 2022, but the clause of qualifying and reaching the final 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast which will now be played in January 2024 has cast doubts on whether he will continue on the job till next year as his contract is reported to have expired.
“It’s not supposed to end at the end of June, you know the AFCON was supposed to be from June to July (2023) before it was postponed (to 2024), so the contract basically should have ended by July. We are still in talks with him and his lawyers on that issue.
“Basically, what the contract talks are about is that he should qualify the team to the Nations Cup and also lead the team to the final, but unfortunately, we have the issue that has made CAF to shift the tournament to January, so it has affected the whole situation. We will conclude very soon,” Gusau said.
Following the Falcons impressive display at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Gusau maintained that the technical committee of the NFF would determine if Waldrum would be retained. He however assured that it will also be sorted before Falcons’ Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers against Ethiopia next month
“If the contract of a coach expires, we have a technical committee that will do due diligence on his performance. If it is a coach that will continue, as once the contract of a coach expires, we have to follow due process of our technical committee to know that if he is coming back, it has to be their recommendation, to make sure Nigerians get the best. We are still working on that.
“As you know, next month too, the Super Falcons will play the 2024 Olympic qualifiers, so we must do something at their level before then, so, we know the coach that will take us to the Olympic Games,” he said.
In a poll conducted by PUNCH Sports Extra in June, 64 per cent of respondents against 21 per cent said the NFF should not retain Peseiro, while 15 per cent were indifferent about the Portuguese coach.
In Waldrum’s case, The PUNCH had reported that many fans also backed him to keep his job despite his soured relationship with his employers before the World Cup.