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NFF President confirms Finidi George’s autonomy in assistant selection

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Abuja, Nigeria – Ibrahim Gusau, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has confirmed that new Super Eagles coach Finidi George had full autonomy in selecting his coaching assistants, as reported by Soccernet.ng.

This announcement was made during a press conference at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium’s Conference Room in Abuja, attended by the Honourable Minister for Sports, Owan Enoh, and top NFF officials.

The introduction of Finidi George as the head coach of the three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions also saw the unveiling of his support team. The assistants include Daniel Amokachi, Benjamin James, Olatunji Baruwa, Chima Onyeike, and Mehmet Ozturk. Speculation had arisen regarding whether these appointments were imposed by the NFF.

Gusau clarified that Finidi George independently selected his coaching staff. “All the names you saw as assistants to Finidi were chosen by him,” Gusau stated. He emphasized that the NFF’s Technical Director provided a list of candidates, from which Finidi made his selections.

Among Finidi’s choices is his 1994 Super Eagles teammate, Daniel Amokachi, appointed as an assistant coach. Olatunji Baruwa retains his role as the goalkeepers’ trainer, continuing from his tenure under former coach Jose Peseiro. The technical team also includes Benjamin James as the second assistant, Chima Onyeike as the fitness trainer, and Mehmet Ozturk as the match analyst.

There has been some confusion within the Nigerian football community regarding the duration of Finidi George’s contract. Addressing these concerns, Gusau clarified that Finidi’s contract is not limited to one year. “His target is to get us to the semi-finals of the AFCON and qualify us for the World Cup in 2026,” Gusau explained.

Finidi’s contract is performance-based, with an initial one-year term and an option for extension based on achieving set targets. Should the AFCON 2025 targets not be met, the contract will not be renewed for 2026. This structure is intended to ensure that the former Real Betis player remains motivated to deliver results.

The NFF’s decision to appoint Finidi follows the expiration of Jose Peseiro’s contract and reflects a response to public calls for an indigenous coach for the Super Eagles. The performance-based nature of the contract underscores the NFF’s commitment to accountability and success on the international stage.

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