Julius Aghahowa Criticizes NFF’s Decision to Appoint Foreign Coach for Super Eagles

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Following the resignation of Finidi George as head coach of the Super Eagles, former international Julius Aghahowa has voiced strong criticism against the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach for the team. This move comes after Nigeria’s disappointing performances in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

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The Super Eagles managed only a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Uyo and suffered a 2-1 defeat to Benin Republic in Abidjan, placing their qualification hopes in jeopardy. With just three points from four games, Nigeria sits in fifth place in Group C and must win all six remaining matches to qualify for the World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

In an interview with Brila FM, Aghahowa expressed his disapproval of the NFF’s decision to appoint a foreign manager for the three-time African champions.

“I think it’s what they want. So, they will usually go for what they want, irrespective of what people will say or people’s opinions, but I feel we have gone past that. Right now, we should be looking inward,” Aghahowa said.

He emphasized the financial constraints faced by the NFF and suggested that hiring a local coach would be more feasible. “First of all, we don’t have money to pay foreign coaches right now. I remember how they struggled in the past,” he added.

Aghahowa, who began his football career with Bendel Insurance and earned 30 caps for the Super Eagles, scoring 14 goals, believes that trusting homegrown coaches could strengthen Nigerian football. He argued that local coaches could foster the inclusion of homegrown players in the national team, thereby enhancing the domestic league.

“We should look inward and allow our homegrown coaches to coach the national team. In the long term, if you look at the national team in the past years, we don’t have homegrown players included in the call-up. So, I feel that if we have our homegrown coaches, that should be an opportunity for the homegrown players to be invited to the national team, so we can make our league stronger,” Aghahowa concluded.

Aghahowa’s career highlights include scoring Nigeria’s only goal at the 2002 World Cup against Sweden and becoming the country’s top scorer at the 2002 African Nations Cup. He also represented Nigeria at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

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