Finidi George’s Replacement: Why NFF Should Consider Appointing Tom Saintfiet As Super Eagles Coach

Finidi George’s Replacement: Why NFF Should Consider Appointing Tom Saintfiet As Super Eagles Coach

Ero Samson
updated at July 1, 2024 at 4:59 PM
In this article:
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  • The hierarchy of the Nigeria Football Federation is actively in search of a fitting coach for the Super Eagles following Finidi George’s exit
  • A flurry of foreign tacticians, including Tom Saintfiet, have shown keen interest in taking over the vacant role created by Finidi’s departure
  • Sports Brief shines the spotlight on why the football federation should consider appointing the Belgian tactician for the Super Eagles

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Who will be appointed as the next coach of the Super Eagles? This million-dollar question has been at the forefront of Nigeria’s football community since Finidi George’s departure.

The 53-year-old chose to step down from his role as coach following lacklustre results in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series against South Africa and the Republic of Benin.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, NFF, Finidi George, FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Coach, Benin.
Finidi George pictured during the FIFA World Cup qualification clash between Nigeria and the Benin Republic before he stepped down from his role as Super Eagles coach. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

In the wake of Finidi’s departure and the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to pursue a foreign coach, numerous managers have expressed interest in leading the Super Eagles. Among them is Belgian tactician, Tom Saintfiet, who currently serves as the coach of the Philippines national team.

In light of this, Sports Brief highlights several reasons why the NFF should consider the 51-year-old Saintfiet as a replacement for Finidi.

Why NFF should consider appointing Tom Saintfiet

Experience on the African continent

The veteran gaffer is a vastly experienced tactician, particularly on African soil. Saintfiet has previously managed the national teams of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi, Togo, and Gambia, in addition to clubs in South Africa and Tanzania.

According to Transfermarkt data, in addition to his numerous managerial stints on the African continent, the Belgian previously served as Technical Director of the Super Eagles, a role he held from March to July 2012.

Achievements in African football

While Coach Saintfiet may not have amassed trophies on the continent like Herve Renard, he boasts significant achievements in African football.

According to data from, the current Philippines coach guided the Gambia to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament qualification in 2021. The veteran tactician also led the team to the quarter-finals of the tournament held in Cameroon.

Saintfiet also successfully guided the Scorpions to qualify for AFCON again in 2023. Additionally, he was named Namibia's Coach of the Year during his tenure with the Southern African country in 2008.

In an interview with Punch Sports, the 51-year-old expressed his career ambition to someday coach the Super Eagles, and Finidi's departure may present the perfect opportunity for this aspiration to materialise.

Nigeria's Sports Minister has encouraged the NFF to consider appointing a highly experienced foreign tactician for the Super Eagles, suggesting that Saintfiet could potentially be a masterstroke if chosen.

Roberto Landi speaks on coaching Nigeria

Sports Brief in another report detailed former Liberia coach, Roberto Landi, has expressed interest in the Super Eagles job.

The Italian tactician recently explained it would be a dream for him to coach the Nigerian team.

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)