The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is facing a difficult choice regarding the future of coach Jose Peseiro after the Super Eagles’ disappointing start in the World Cup qualifiers. NFF executive committee member Nse Essien has revealed that if the federation had the financial means to do so, they would consider relieving Peseiro of his duties due to the team’s underwhelming performances.
Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup have been severely compromised following their lackluster display in the first two qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, which resulted in only two draws. In the match against Zimbabwe, Walter Musona opened the scoring with a brilliant free kick, and it was only through the efforts of Leicester forward Kelechi Iheanacho that Nigeria managed to salvage a point with a second-half equalizer.
The Portuguese coach, Peseiro, has come under heavy criticism for the national team’s slow start to the qualification campaign. NFF member Essien expressed the dissatisfaction within the organization, stating, “If we had the money to pay for compensation, we would be willing to relieve him of his job.” He further added that there is a growing demand for the coach’s dismissal, emphasizing the precarious situation Nigeria currently finds itself in after securing only two points from a possible six.
Group C of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers is currently led by South Africa with three points. They are expected to extend their lead when they face Rwanda, while Lesotho will host Benin in South Africa. In contrast, Nigeria, who missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, are left with two points from their first two matches.
The qualifiers will resume in June 2024, offering Nigeria an opportunity to make up lost ground as they welcome South Africa to the southern city of Uyo. Following that crucial match, they face a challenging away fixture against Benin.
As the NFF contemplates the future of Coach Peseiro, the coming months will be pivotal for the Super Eagles. The federation must carefully assess the team’s performances and weigh the potential consequences of making a coaching change mid-campaign. The ultimate goal remains to resurrect Nigeria’s World Cup hopes and ensure a strong showing in the remaining qualifiers.