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Nigeria’s choice of Finidi George as Super Eagles coach: Victor Ikpeba provides insights

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Former Nigerian football star Victor Ikpeba has shed light on the decision-making process behind appointing Finidi George as the new coach of the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national football team. Ikpeba revealed that financial considerations played a significant role in the selection, which was initially inclined towards a foreign manager.

After weeks of anticipation, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officially confirmed Finidi George’s appointment as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

However, Ikpeba, a member of the NFF technical commission, described the decision as a compromise due to financial constraints.

“While we initially leaned towards hiring a foreign manager, we ultimately selected Finidi George for financial reasons,” Ikpeba stated during an appearance on Monday Night Football on Super Sports.

Despite the financial considerations, Ikpeba expressed congratulations to his former teammate on his new role.

Ikpeba emphasized that the preference for a foreign coach was not a reflection of doubts about the capabilities of local coaches.

Instead, it was a decision influenced by the desire for continuity, particularly after José Peseiro led the team to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final.

“The choice of a native coach reflects the wishes of many Nigerians,” Ikpeba elaborated. “While we recognize the skills of our local coaches, we felt there should be continuity from Peseiro’s tenure.

Ultimately, the NFF president urged us to prioritize a Nigerian coach, aligning with the desires of Nigerians.”

Finidi George’s appointment comes with immediate responsibilities, as he prepares the Super Eagles for crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic.

These matches, scheduled to take place in Uyo and Abidjan, will test George’s leadership as he navigates the team through a challenging campaign.

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As Nigeria gears up for this pivotal phase, the appointment of Finidi George symbolizes a blend of financial pragmatism and the aspirations of Nigerian football fans, marking a new chapter in the Super Eagles’ journey under domestic coaching leadership.

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