November 20, (THEWILL) – Recent comments by Nigeria Football Federation board member, Nse Essien, regarding their inability to sack Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro due to financial constraints are unacceptable and demonstrate a lack of accountability by the football governing body.
As the body charged with oversight of the national team, the NFF has a responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of Nigerian football, and cannot hide behind financial limitations.
While the delayed salary payments by the Sports Ministry are certainly problematic, this does not absolve the NFF of its duty to take action when the team is underperforming. If finances are an issue, the NFF should have been more prudent in contract negotiations with the coach to build in appropriate termination clauses in the recently signed contract extension. To hide behind monetary excuses after the fact shows poor planning and foresight.
Additionally, the NFF’s stance contradicts its own mission of promoting excellence in Nigerian football. Retaining a coach who has led the team to disappointing results in World Cup qualifiers simply because his contract cannot be bought out sends the wrong message – that mediocrity is acceptable. This is unfair to players and fans alike.
Rather than make empty statements about sacking the coach, the NFF needs to take tangible steps to remedy the situation. If terminating Peseiro is not viable, there are other options – putting him on an improvement plan, making changes to the backroom staff, implementing additional training, etc. The NFF must explore all avenues for turning things around besides trotting out financial excuses.
Indeed, while finances may pose a challenge, the NFF has not demonstrated adequate leadership or problem-solving in response to the Super Eagles’ recent struggles. There is no justification for retaining a poorly performing coach simply because of money when the reputation of Nigerian football is at stake. The football-loving public deserves better than these unacceptable excuses.