Mutiu Adepoju Urges NFF to Retain Finidi Amidst Technical Adviser Talks

Mutiu Adepoju Urges NFF to Retain Finidi Amidst Technical Adviser Talks

Ero Samson
updated at June 14, 2024 at 3:33 PM
In this article:
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Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
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FIFA Club World Cup
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FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
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South Africa
South Africa
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  • The Nigeria Football Federation has recently announced its decision to relieve Finidi George of his duties as coach
  • The ex-Enyimba gaffer was in charge of the Nigerian team for the fixtures against South Africa and Benin Republic
  • Former midfielder of the Nigerian team, Mutiu Adepoju, has urged the federation against the sacking of coach Finidi

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) recently announced their decision to seek a foreign technical adviser following the Super Eagles' underwhelming performance in their FIFA World Cup qualification fixtures against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Under the guidance of coach Finidi George, the Super Eagles managed to secure only one point from a possible six, jeopardizing the nation's chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

Nigeria, NFF, Super Eagles, Coach, Finidi George, Mutiu Adepoju, South Africa, Benin, FIFA World Cup Qualifier
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on June 13, 2024, announced a decision to replace Finidi George with a new technical adviser. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

In an effort to salvage what is quickly becoming a derailed World Cup qualification campaign, the federation announced via a communique that Finidi would no longer lead the team for the remainder of the qualification series – a decision that has sparked significant debate within the country's football community.

However, amid the flurry of opinions, former Real Madrid midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju, has voiced his opposition to Finidi's dismissal.

Adepoju speaks on Finidi George

In an interview with Sports Brief, the 53-year-old emphasised that Finidi's dismissal might not be the best course of action.

"Well, I think he just got the job, and it’s only been two matches. The two matches came in quick succession for Finidi.
We should remember that when he got the job, he had no time for preparation. So, sacking him shouldn’t be the solution."

Further supporting his argument for retaining the former Enyimba manager, Adepoju continued:

“When we look at the situation holistically, when someone gets a job, they should have time for long-term preparation, so we should consider that in our decisions. Yes, we needed victories to qualify for the World Cup, but we are not out of the qualification process yet.
He has not had enough time to assemble his team. I am not making excuses for him, but compared to other coaches we’ve had, they all had ample time to prepare. None was appointed just two weeks before a major qualifier.
We should remain calm. It’s not like the team’s performance in both games was terrible. We just need to support them properly."

The words of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner resonate with many ex-internationals across the country's football scene, who continue to urge the NFF against sacking Finidi.

However, according to a report from Score Nigeria, several names are being linked with the role of technical adviser for the Super Eagles, including Portuguese coach Antonio Conceicao.

Ekpo express displeasure with Finidi’s situation

Sports Brief in another report stated that former Super Eagles midfielder, Friday Ekpo, criticised the NFF for their handling of the Nigerian team's coaching situation.

The AFCON bronze medallist questioned whether the same standard of judgment applied to Finidi would have been used for a foreign coach.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)