Amidst the Super Eagles’ string of drawn matches in the Group C World Cup qualifiers, Nse Essien, a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, has disclosed a financial incapacity within the football body. Essien highlighted the impossibility of paying off Jose Peseiro, the head coach, should they opt to relieve him of his duties.
Pressure has mounted on the Portuguese coach following consecutive draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, imperiling Nigeria’s qualification for the 2026 World Cup. Walter Musona’s early free-kick goal for Zimbabwe was countered by Kelechi Iheanacho’s equalizer for Nigeria, leaving the team in a precarious position.
Speaking post-match, Essien acknowledged the widespread calls for Peseiro’s dismissal but emphasized the NFF’s financial constraints, stating, “If we had the means for compensation, we’d consider a change. It’s a situation of discontent.”
He lamented the predicament: “The demand for the coach’s removal is pervasive. It’s regrettable that out of a possible six points, we’ve only secured two. Our situation is exceptionally delicate.”
As the qualifiers progress, South Africa leads Group C, set to play Rwanda while Lesotho hosts Benin. Nigeria, aiming to recover lost ground, awaits the 2024 matches, hosting South Africa and facing a challenging trip to Benin after failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.