There has been some concerns in the Nigerian football community on the inclusion of the home-based players in the Super Eagles squad
Nigeria Football Federation’s technical director, Augustine Eguavoen, has emphasized the head coach’s authority in selecting the Super Eagles’ team while acknowledging his department’s advisory role in football development, Soccernet.ng reports.
Amidst local media reports about the Federation’s technical committee seeking insight into player selections, the Portuguese manager expressed his focus on the job at hand, urging the body to handle his allowances rather than delve into team affairs.
Ahmed Musa has been vocal about including home-based players in the national team, noting the rarity of such inclusions today, contrasting with his own journey from a home-based player to the national squad.
Since assuming his role in 2022, Peseiro has not fielded any home-based players in his starting line up, prompting curiosity among Nigerian football fans.
Nigerian football legend, Eguavoen, speaking to Soccernet.ng reiterated that while discussions occur, the coach retains the final decision-making authority regarding team selection.
“We have a coach who is in charge of the senior national team. The same thing is applicable to every country in the world. And we have the technical development who is in charge of football development in the country. Yes, we can discuss, but he has the final say on who he wants to play at the senior team level. He has the final say.
“But we will continue to see…he has been to a couple of games within the country and a few stadiums. So it is up to him to say [whether he] wants to include a home-based player or not.” Eguavoen told Soccernet.ng.
With the Super Eagles gearing up for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, concerns linger among fans regarding Peseiro’s capability, despite the team’s recent record of three draws and two wins in their last five matches.
Eguavoen, understanding the nation’s fervor to secure the AFCON title, advocated for allowing Peseiro to focus on his duties without undue pressure, stressing the coach’s ultimate authority in senior team selections.
He added: “I think we should just allow him [do his job] We are too much on the guy and [might] make him lose too much concentration.
“Yes, it is our country, we want to win the next Africa Cup of Nations. It is our target, Nigeria’s target. Everybody is praying that we can put up a good performance and then win the Africa Cup of Nations. But final say, he has the final say on the senior team selection.”
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Nigeria’s Super Eagles are drawn into a group with Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau for the AFCON, set to commence their group stage matches in January.