NFF to announce Super Eagles new Serbian coach next week
Nigeria was last week pooled alongside Algeria, Cameroun and Zambia in what football pundits have described as the ‘group of death’ of the Russia 2018 qualifiers. But the NFF is not perturbed by the pedigree of Nigeria’s opponents in the qualifiers. Rather, the federation says it will put its house in order to ensure that Nigeria utilizes its enormous resources to pick the Group B ticket.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, recently told journalists in Lagos that the federation had narrowed its search to a Serbian coach because of the qualities some of their trainers have shown in recent times.
Among the coaches in contention are Veljko Paunovic, who led Serbia to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand 2015, former Ghana coach, Goran Stefanovic, Alexsandar Rogic and Milutin Sredojevic.
Yesterday, a local website reported that the NFF has chosen the 49-year-old Goran Stefanovic as the new national team coach, but a chieftain of the federation told The Guardian that federation has not decided on the candidate for the job.
“These things are not as easy as that,” the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.“The board has to meet to look at the merits and demerits of every candidate before choosing the coach. But it has been made more urgent because we now know the enormity of the task before the Super Eagles and the need to ensure that only the best is given the job,” he added.
He revealed that whoever is chosen to guide the Eagles must be one capable of ensuring that Nigeria wins the Russia 2018 World Cup ticket ahead of Algeria, Cameroun and Zambia. “The new coach must also be ready to reside in Nigeria to monitor the local players and liaise with the technical committee,” he added.
If the NFF eventually settles for Stefanovic, the Super Eagles will be getting a coach who has experience of African football having coached Ghana to the 2012 African Nations Cup.
Stefanovic, who was sacked by the Black Stars after failing to take the 2010 World Cup quarterfinalists beyond the 2012 Nations Cup semifinals, currently handles Greek Football League club, Agrotikos Asteras F.C.