Amanze Uchegbulam is the first vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation. He is aware of the criticisms onÂ the federationÂ since they engaged Shuaibu Amodu as Super Eagles head coach.
In the interview the federation conducted, Samson Siasia placed first and Amodu was second.Amanze was in Owerri for the Champions League semifinal first
leg tie between Heartland and Kano Pillars.
In a chat at the airport, Uchegbulam explained why they offered Amodu the job in place of Siasia.â€œWe conducted the interview and I wish the President,Â Sani Lulu,Â allowed us to publish what each person wrote or said on tape.
Nigerians would have been able to assess some of the coaches they rated highly. It is true that Siasia placed first. We considered other things especially experience. We felt that management of the players was an important factor and Siasia would have had problems coping with the senior players. The senior team is not Under 20 or Under 17. Even when Siasia handled the Olympic team we knew the problems we faced, how many times we intervened to settle problems with Osaze and Victor Anichebe, the two senior players in the team. Iâ€™m not saying that Siasia is a bad coach.
We felt that Amodu was more experienced and could manage the senior players better, simple. I have been in football long enough to know what Iâ€™m talking about. Iâ€™m not speaking for or against anybody. In terms of management ofÂ the players, we considered Amoduâ€™s experience. It is painful to all that we are battling to qualify for the World Cup. I know that it is tough but letâ€™s not give up hope. Letâ€™s continue to give our best. We have had problems with coaches.
If Berti Vogts performed well, by now we would have found our proper level in football. But he didnâ€™t live up to expectation and had to leave. ThatÂ set us back because if he worked well and got results we would have gone far with him by now. I say this because people donâ€™t understand how difficult it is to choose coaches. You may take what is happening as example.
We have tried to give our coaches chance. It is not bad to give them chance. But they should live up to expectation. You canâ€™t say that is happening. We have also engaged foreign coach and still didnâ€™t get result. So, itâ€™s not as easy as people think. But we will be able to do our best.â€
Nigeria play Mozambique tomorrow in a World Cup qualifier that may not change Nigeriaâ€™s situation if the Eagles win in Abuja and Tunisia beat Kenya in Tunisia.
â€œAnything is possible. The qualification will not end until the last match. Letâ€™s remain hopeful.,â€ he said.On the Owerri match, he agreed that some players on both sides deserved national team invitation.
â€œI always ask for the best for our team and I have always identified some local players I feel can make the national team competitive. We saw them in the match. But Iâ€™m not the Eagles coach. The coach makes his selection.
It is the practice all over the world. But if you ask for my opinion, Iâ€™ll tell you that some players in the domestic league can really play in the Eagles.â€