Why I Lost Super Eagles Job – Amunike


Former Golden Eaglets FIFA U-17 World Cup winning head coach Emmanuel Amuneke has said that detractors peddled unfounded reports in the media against his person after he exercised his right to apply for the vacant Super Eagles coaching role.

This is even as he said that his mortal crime against his traducers was raising up talented young players who played under him at the youth levels like the current CAF Best Player of the Year Victor Osimhen and AC Milan of Italy dazzling winger Samuel Chukwueze and others who are today the mainstay of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Reacting to the several media misrepresentations of his person, Amuneke who was a top contender for the Super Eagles job but lost it to his former teammate George Finidi after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday appointed the Enyimba coach as the new gaffer described as smear campaigns the reports in the media space.

The former Super Eagles assistant coach told Prompt News that he merely stayed quiet to allow the football authorities take their decision before clearing his name, pointing out that the reports that he had a frosty working relationship with officials of the NFF, particularly when he was in charge of the Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles are false.

Amuneke also insists that the reports that alleged that he instigated a pay strike by the Flying Eagles players, which eventually cost them qualification for the 2017 U-20 AFCON a lie from the pit of hell, saying that he never did anything to undermine his team’s progress as it will be to his credit that the team succeed.

Said he: “You see, I never wanted to join issues with detractors because I am a very serious person who is engaged working and learning. But, you see, they have said many falsehood against Amuneke”.

Speaking further he said: “These jobless guys have even accused Amuneke of unethical conduct, saying he was directly involved in the transfer of several of the Golden Eaglets players under him but all lies”.

Amuneke, a former CAF African Player of The Year  posited that his traducers can only try but they will not stop him to reach the heights God destined for him in his chosen career- football and coaching in particular, adding that he is not desperate to coach Super Eagles as he will rather wait for God’s appointed time.

Said he: “They succeeded in smearing my name in the media because of the Super Eagles job. They can continue with their propaganda, but I will remain disciplined. It’s not a do-or-die job. I have even congratulated my good friend Finidi and wished him well on the job”.

Continuing, Amuneke said: “all those allegations made in the media especially online (bloggers) because of the Super Eagles job are obviously not true. This is how they are murmuring that I made Nigeria not to qualify for Qatar FIFA World Cup when I was neither the chief coach nor drew any team list. So, how was I the cause of the team’s failure? They are fabricated lies merely to deceive the Nigerian people.

“Perhaps, my crime was that I raised talented young players from the U-17 and U-20 for Nigeria; players like Osimhen, Chukwueze, Nwakali and others who have become the mainstay of Super Eagles today yet these detractors do not see any merit in my contributions to the status Nigeria has acquired today in the African football.

“But those who recommended candidates for the Super Eagles job know I will not be easily bullied. I cannot compromise standards.

I know there is still bad blood with these officials, but its fine. We will continue to strive to be better and one day our work will earn us our right to lead”.

The 53-year-old Amuneke who led Tanzania to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after 29 years in the wilderness, also coached Egyptian clubside Misr El-Makkasa and worked in Sudan.

He led Nigeria to the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, where Nigeria emerged champions for a record fifth time and since that rare feat, the country has not won the competition again

Amuneke who lives in Barcelona, Spain where his two sons are learning the trade of their father in respected football academy won Olympic Gold in 1996, which came two years after scoring a brace against Zambia that won Nigeria her second AFCON title in 1994 in Tunisia.