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Mr Amaju Pinnick, President, Nigeria Football Federation has opened up to Nigerians and sports lovers on why Joesph Yobo was appointed as Super Eagles assistant coach.
Mixed reactions have trailed Yobo’s appointment, even coach Gernot Rohr in a recent interview with the BBC noted that Yobo was without coaching diploma or experience.
Some of Yobo’s former colleagues also wondered aloud as to his experience and qualifications for the Job.
Speaking on the issue in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, Pinnick noted that Yobo’s appointment was a unanimous decision of the NFF’s Executive Committee.
“The NFF is very excited with his appointment and will take it as a responsibility to ensure that he gets the requisite (coaching) qualifications at the highest level,” Pinnick stated.
“That’s how Stephen Keshi started. Who says Yobo can’t be the next Nigerian to win the the AFCON as player and coach?
“FIFA stipulates that the head coach and first assistant coach must have coaching licences. Yobo is not the first assistant coach.
“The idea is that we want to nurture and condition him to provide leadership and mentorship for the young team, using the Nigerian factor, which Gernot (Right) cannot provide.
“He’s played for some of Europe’s big clubs, won the AFCON and he is one of our most-capped players ever. So, we should back him to succeed.”
Pinnick also made mention of Yobo’s former teammate at Everton, Mikel Arteta, who began coaching immediately after his retirement in 2016, even though he had no experience, he was able to rise through the ranks to become Arsenal’s manager.
He said, “When Yobo was at Everton, Arteta was on the bench. But he began his coaching career as an assistant at Manchester City when he retired. Today, he is the Arsenal manager and one of the top coaches in England. So, we should learn to support our own.
“Are we going to keep relying on foreigners all the time?”