As time goes by, Nigerian coaches have continued to groan quietly and sometimes outwardly over the continued delay in the payment of their salaries and allowances while serving as national team handlers.
In addition to withheld payment, the coaches are intermittently exposed to working under pressure and sack threat should fail to churn out expected result especially when any competition draws near.
Some if not all are accused of collecting bribe from players as was the case of victorious Golden Eaglets’ coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, during the recruitment of players for the World Cup.
Nigerian Pilot Sports can also recall a case in point when Amuneke could not win U-17 African championship held in Niger, earlier this year amidst various challenges ranging from delayed payment to lack of adequate preparation as at then NFF wanted to sack him, labeling him as incompetent.
The somewhat trend many opined has become an enigma of sorts on team handlers who are mainly ex-internationals.
The role call, Super Eagles Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh, a former captain of the country’s senior national team, during his playing days.
Samson Siasia is currently in charge of Nigeria’s U-23 team, Dream Team VI. He equally stared for Super Eagles before retirement.
Next is Manu Garba, who has been retained as Flying Eagles coach. He was a National player just as his assistant, Nduka Ugbade, who captained the U-17 team, Golden Eaglets who won their first ever World Cup in 1985.
He later played at the U-20 and Senior National team level before calling it quit.
Emmanuel Amuneke, the head and retained Coach of the victorious Golden Eaglets, also played for Nigeria.
The team’s goalkeeper trainer, Emeka Amadi, was once at the goal post for Nigeria at the U-17 level.
Therefore, the nation’s various teams are now being manned by former Nigeria’s players that have been at loggerhead with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF over their inability to ensure regular payment of salaries and indeed players’ match bonuses.
Before the recent outburst by Siasia, former Eagles Coach and captain, Stephen Keshi, initially fell out with the football house when his entitlements including vehicle, housing and salary, weren’t forthcoming.
Amuneke before his side left to Argentina, where they had final training tour ahead of FIFA U-17 championship, lambasted NFF for withholding his wages, while promising to pay newly employed Oliseh three months in advance.
Incidentally, Oliseh appeared not to have received his own part of the bargain, three months on.
Speaking with Nigerian Pilot Sports in Abuja shortly before departing for the2018 World Cup qualifier against Swaziland, Oliseh who satirically responded when asked if he has been fully paid since he took up the Eagles’ job stated, “Well, whether the federation has paid me or not is not what I will say publically.
“The relationship we have with the NFF as officials and players is like a father and son relationship. A son is not supposed to just come out and begin to talk about his father publicly even when the father offends him.
“If you want respect, you give respect also.”
Director General, National Sports Commission, NSC Mallam Al Hassan Yakmut, who maintained that both the employer and employee are subjected to respecting agreements entered into which led to contractual engagement said, “Any worker deserves his wage. If they are outstanding in the payment of coaches, that must be sorted out.
It is however, unfortunate to note that these coaches that have suffered one kind of humiliation, deprivation and threat or the other over the years, won laurel for the nation.
They have become the proverbial saying that the rejected stone has become the corner of the house. It is therefore imperative in this era of scientific football that NFF and NSC learn to treat their coaches well.


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