Jose Peseiro is still the head coach of the Nigeria senior male national team.
It could have been different if the team didn’t pull off a narrow 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in Bissau on Monday.
The win came three days after the Djurtus shocked the Super Eagles by the same scoreline at the Abuja National Stadium.
That result in the nation’s capital led to calls for Peseiro to be dismissed.
But one fact that was lost in the outrage is that the Portuguese’s current contract expires in June.
This means senior officials at the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have a decision to make very soon.
A lot of factors would be considered.
Peseiro’s results in charge of the three-time African champions has been below average. Nigeria have won only three and lost five of eight games played under his leadership.
However, it is instructive to note Peseiro has not had a full year in charge of the Super Eagles, as he was employed midway through 2022.
Secondly, Peseiro isn’t popular among the fans and media. This is an important factor to consider in a football-crazy country like Nigeria, where fans’ support and media coverage can greatly influence a team’s perceived success.
MEZIESBLOG learnt that Peseiro’s salary is also a sticky issue. At over $70,000, the 62-year-old earns almost twice that of his predecessor, Gernot Rohr.
So is Peseiro the right man to take this team forward?
Calvin Onwuka, the CEO of ACL Sports, tells reporters: “The previous NFF President appointed Pesiero and he said it was from recommendations of Jose Mourinho. We need to remember this.
“I never judge any coach on the quality of football during qualifiers or friendly matches. I just want them to win and qualify. I judge national coaches on their tournament football/performances.
“So, as long as Nigeria qualifies for AFCON then Peseiro has done fine.”
Nigeria’s next game will be their fifth fixture in the 2023 AFCON qualifying series away to Sierra Leone.
By then, the handler of the team should have been sorted.
Onwuka has a score to settle with the immediate past NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, who oversaw Peseiro’s recruitment.
“The NFF’s recruitment process of Pinnick’s era was just handled by Pinnick.
“There is a board. He made a lot of decisions unilaterally. That was not right.
“This is a new Board with a new president so we just need to give them time to do their own things,” he explained.