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NFF appoints Finidi George as Head Coach of Super Eagles

April, 29 2024.

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation on Monday approved the recommendation of its Technical and Development Committee to appoint former ace winger Finidi George as Head Coach of the Senior Men National Football Team, Super Eagles.

 

George, who spent 20 months as assistant to José Santos Peseiro before the Portuguese voluntarily left the post following the accomplishment of Africa Cup of Nations runner-up position at Cote d’Ivoire 2023, took charge of the squad in interim capacity during two friendly matches in Morocco last month.

 

His squad edged Ghana 2-1 in the first match, ending an 18-year winless streak against the Black Stars, but then lost 0-2 to Mali in the second game.

 

George, a member of the so-styled ‘Golden Generation’ that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Tunisia and emerged the second most entertaining team in Nigeria’s debut at the FIFA World Cup finals in USA the same year, won 62 caps for Nigeria, including featuring at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals. He also won gold, silver and bronze medals from the 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 AFCON tournaments.

 

The 52-year-old former Ajax Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Real Betis (Spain) forward, who made a scoring debut for fatherland in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Burkina Faso at the National Stadium, Lagos on 27th July 1991, also featured for Calabar Rovers and Sharks FC in the domestic scene before heading to Europe. He assisted Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory) to score Nigeria’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal against Bulgaria in Dallas, USA on 19thJune 1994.

 

George had actually scored the goal that took Nigeria to that FIFA World Cup debut, when he put Nigeria ahead against hosts Algeria in a crucial qualifier in Algiers on 8th October 1993. The match eventually ended 1-1 and earned Nigeria a ticket to the finals in America.

 

George’s immediate task will be to guide the Super Eagles to victory in two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic in Uyo and Abidjan respectively, in a little over five weeks. The matches are must-win encounters, with the Super Eagles lagging behind in third place in Group C of the African campaign behind Rwanda and South Africa.

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