By Goodluck Ikiebe
With the Super Eagles set to take on São Tomé and Principe in a dead/rubber AFCON Qualifiers in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital on Sunday, September 10, 2023 the Federal Government has met and brainstormed with the Leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with a view to finding solution to the issues surrounding the contract with the Super Eagles Coach
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, who met with the team in his office in Abuja on Saturday, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of Sports in the country.
Senator Enoh restated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s passion for development of the sector, which makes the meeting imperative, especially considering the fact that Nigerian Super Eagles are set to meet Sao Tome and Principe in Uyo, next weekend.
He explained that government was committed to re-engaging and extending the expired contract with the Super Eagles Coach to the end of February 2024, provided that the terms for the extension meet the requirements of the parties involved.
Enoh stated that he will celebrate a victory from the team, which would come as a good welcome gift for the present administration.
“Even though we are home and dry in the qualifying series, I will be excited if the Super Eagles can beat São Tomé and Principe for the generality of Nigerians, as we celebrate this new phase of our Sports”, he noted.
The Minister therefore charged NFF and the Coach to work assiduously towards ensuring the victory of the team at the match.
Ealier, in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, stated that the meeting with the NFF Leadership was conveyed to provide for better opportunity for the resolution of issues surrounding the contract of the Super Eagles Coach, Jose Santos Paseiro.
He explained that the NFF, beyond being a Parastatal of the Sports Development Ministry, is a key stakeholder for the success of Sports development in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary therefore called on the NFF Leadership to continue to support the efforts and initiatives of the Honourable Minister and the Ministry towards the realization of the objectives and policy thrust of the President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration.
While briefing the Honourable Minister at the meeting on the issues surrounding the extention of the contract, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, stated that NFF Leadership had on several occasions engaged the Super Eagles Coach on the way forward and that he had agreed on the salary cut for the duration of the extended contract.
He therefore advised for consideration of the extension of the contract.
Thus, the meeting, which had 1st Vice President (NFF), Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and Legal Counsel Barr. Okey Obi, with some Directors of the Ministry in attendance, resolved to adopt NFF’s opinion, which is to extend the contract to February 28, 2024.
By this, it means that the Nigeria Football Federation and Mr. Jose Santos Peseiro, have reached an agreement for the latter to continue in his role as Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team of Nigeria, Super Eagles.
As stipulated in the original contract, drawn in May 2022, the Portuguese has been handed the mandate to lead the Super Eagles to, in the minimum, the semi finals of the 34th Africa Cup of Nations finals taking place in Cote d’Ivoire in a few months.
Peseiro, who has steered the Super Eagles through the qualifiers and to a ticket with a match to spare, including a 10-0 record international win against Sao Tome and Principe in Agadir, Morocco in June 2022, has now agreed to continue in the role after accepting a pay cut on his earlier terms, with the new agreement also putting him in charge of the Super Eagles B – the home-based professionals, who contested the biennial African Nations Championship.