• Yusuf, Amuneke are assistants
BY JOE APU
FOLLOWING the unceremonious resignation of Super Eagles handler Sunday Oliseh, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF on Friday appointed former coach of the Eagles Samson Siasia as Head Coach of the Senior National Football Team.
Siasia is to be assisted by Salisu Yusuf, FIFA U-17 World Cup – winner Emmanuel Amuneke and Alloy Agu for the upcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt.
The combination was recommended by the NFF Technical and Development Committee following Sunday Oliseh’s resignation on twitter in the early hours of Friday.
Siasia served as Super Eagles’ Head Coach between December 2010 and October 2011, before his contract was terminated following the team’s failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
Amuneke led the Nigeria U-17 boys to a fifth FIFA World Cup title in Chile last year and was hailed for his excellent comportment and maturity, as well as the tremendous skills of his players.
Salisu Yusuf and Alloy Agu were in the immediate past crew led by Oliseh and will serve as the bridge with the new team as Nigeria gets set for a potentially –explosive double date with the Pharaohs in March.
Siasia and Amuneke are among few ex-Nigeria internationals who boast impressive track record in coaching. Amuneke, who has a UEFA Pro licence, was assistant to Manu Garba when the Nigeria U-17 squad won a fourth FIFA World Cup title in 2013, and then headed the crew that successfully defended the trophy last year.
Siasia steered the Nigeria U-20 team to the African title in 2005 and led the team to runner-up spot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in The Netherlands the same year. He also led the U-23 to silver medal in the men’s football tournament of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and two months ago, led the U-23 to win the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal, in the process qualifying the team to this year’s Olympics.
Both men scored as Nigeria achieved an impressive debut at the FIFA World Cup in the USA in 1994. Amuneke scored against Bulgaria and Italy and Siasia scored against Argentina.
Amuneke also scored the two goals as Nigeria edged Zambia to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time on away soil in Tunis in 1994, and also scored the winner as Nigeria defeated Argentina to win Africa’s first Olympics football gold in USA two years later.
Contrary to claims by Oliseh that he was being owed wages and did not receive support from the NFF, top officials confirmed to thenff.com that he was this week paid the sum of N20 million, being salaries for three months (December 2015, January 2016 and February 2016) and half-year rent for July-December 2015. He was signed on in July 2015.