Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jose Peseiro: Nigeria head coach agrees pay cut to remain in charge – BBC


Jose Poseiro has guided Nigeria to next year's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast
Jose Peseiro has agreed a pay cut to stay on as Nigeria head coach, extending his reign until next year's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
BBC Sport Africa understands the Portuguese will now earn a monthly salary of $50,000 (£39,600) after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said it could no longer afford his previous salary of $70,000 (£55,400).
That old contract expired at the end of June, yet Peseiro has only received three months' salary since taking charge in May 2022.
Despite that fact, the 63-year-old has accepted the challenge of leading the Super Eagles to at least the semi-finals of January's Nations Cup which begins in Ivory Coast.
According to the NFF, the former Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Al Ahly coach – who previously had spells with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – will also take charge of the Super Eagles B side, a team made up of locally-based professionals who contest the biennial African Nations Championship (CHAN).
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Although Nigeria have secured qualification for next year's continental showpiece, Peseiro has been heavily criticised by local media and fans.
Since missing out on a place at the 2022 World Cup, Nigeria have won four and lost five games under him.
The team needed a stoppage-time winner from Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho to secure the 3-2 victory over Sierra Leone that clinched qualification for Afcon.
However, the cash-strapped NFF opted to keep Peseiro after he agreed to the pay cut in order to prepare for November's 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
"Both the technical committee and the NFF board agreed that it actually makes sense to keep Peseiro," a top NFF official told BBC Sport Africa.
"We actually considered the fast-approaching World Cup qualifiers and this new deal expires at the end of the Nations Cup. There is the general feeling that the coach may also feel like he has some unfinished business with the team."
Nigeria need at least a point in their final Afcon qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe on 10 September to win Group A.
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Peseiro has named uncapped players including Victor Boniface, Gift Orban and Germany-born Jordan Torunarigha for the game in Uyo.
In-form Boniface has scored four goals at new Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, while Orban has netted 26 goals in all competitions for Belgian club Gent since joining in January.
There are also recalls for Italy-based defender Tyronne Ebuehi, defensive midfielder Raphael Onyedika and Cardiff City defender Jamilu Collins who has returned from long-term injury.
New Fulham signing Alex Iwobi misses out due to injury but Napoli's Victor Osimhen, AC Milan's Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest are all included.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli, Italy); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); William Ekong (PAOK, Greece); Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff City, Wales); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Gift Orban (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Boniface (Bayern Leverkusen, Germany)
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