Nwabufo Obienu doubled as vice chairman of then Nigeria Football Association and coordinator of the Eagles during the qualification for 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. He worked with coaches Amodu Shaibu, Stephen Keshi and Joe Erico and can attest to their abilities. He bared his mind yesterday in a telephone chat.

“It will be criminal to drop Amodu from the World Cup. We are still paying for the price of the nemesis that caught up with us the last time they qualified us for the World Cup and they sacked them. I worked closely with them and I know the capabilities and limitations of Amodu.


I strongly suggest that Amodu needs help. He cannot do it alone. Let them promote him technical adviser or team manager as recommended in your column last Friday and bring in Keshi to be the coach. I know how they worked the last time and I strongly agree that we don’t need a foreign coach to the job.

They can bring in Keshi after the Nations Cup since his contract with Mali will end then. Siasia, Amokachi and the rest can be named assistants and with Amodu let them prosecute the Nations Cup in Angola. After the Nations Cup, let them elevate Amodu and bring in Keshi.

They also need a strong team manager. If Keshi is in the team when we are preparing for the World Cup and he drills the players in three weeks or more, you will see the remarkable difference in the team.

Apart from their abilities, taking Keshi and Amodu to go to the World Cup will be another way to make up for injustice Nigeria meted to them that haunted us for long.

The suggestion that Amodu, Keshi, Siasia and even the likes of Okpala be appointed in a consortium of coaches for the World Cup is good. I buy it and I want to urge the federation to consider it seriously.”

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