Finidi George’s Replacement: Ex Mali Coach Eric Chelle Applies for Super Eagles Role, Report

Finidi George’s Replacement: Ex Mali Coach Eric Chelle Applies for Super Eagles Role, Report

Ero Samson
updated at July 5, 2024 at 4:31 PM
In this article:
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Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
E. Chelle
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FIFA World Cup
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FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
  • The Nigeria Football Federation's search for a suitable new coach for the Nigerian national men's team continues
  • Several foreign tacticians have continued to declare interest in taking over the vacant role created by Finidi George's exit
  • Ex-Mali coach Eric Chelle has applied for the vacant Super Eagles coaching role, according to an emerging new report

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The race to find a suitable successor for Finidi George is intensifying within the global coaching community.

Numerous foreign tacticians have expressed interest in leading the Super Eagles as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) continues its quest for a new manager.

In an official statement, the federation announced its decision to shift focus towards hiring a foreign coach amidst Nigeria's precarious FIFA World Cup qualification series.

Eric Chelle, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Coach, AFCON, Mali, FInidi George
Eric Chelle, who has reportedly applied to coach the Super Eagles, pictured during the AFCON 2023 match between Mali and Ivory Coast at the Stade de la Paix on February 3, 2024. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

The West African nation finds themselves lying fifth in their Group C standings, only ahead of the basement side, Zimbabwe.

As the coaching saga heats up, a report stating former Mali coach Eric Chelle has applied to manage the Super Eagles has surfaced.

Mali coach applies for Super Eagles role?

According to a report from media outlet, Score Nigeria, the 46-year-old is the latest to send in an application to replace Finidi.

Coach Chelle boasts a seemingly impressive coaching record since his transition from footballer to manager in 2016.

According to data courtesy of FotMob, the former Ligue 1 defender boasts a coaching record of 16 victories and five losses in his 28 games in charge during his two-year stint with the Mali national team that ended in June, 2024.

Coach Chelle was at the helm when his side last defeated Nigeria in the March 2024 international window.

The application of the 47-year-old comes in the aftermath of a flurry of foreign tacticians, including Roberto Landi, and former Sevilla coach, Joaquin Caparros, showing interest in managing the Nigerian team.

Amidst the surge of applications and the increasing interest from numerous managers, it is crucial for the NFF to select a suitable manager for the Super Eagles with major tournaments on the horizon.

NFF welcomes the return of Salisu Yusuf

Sports Brief also previously reported that the NFF is preparing to welcome Salisu Yusuf to the coaching staff of the Super Eagles.

During the more than five-year tenure of former manager, Gernot Rohr, the 62-year-old played a crucial role in 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)