Nigerian football legend Mutiu Adepoju suggests that dismissing the embattled Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro just a month before the start of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) might be counterproductive.
The Super Eagles entered the 2026 World Cup qualifiers with difficulty, securing draws against the lower-ranked Lesotho and Zimbabwe, setting the team on course for a potential second consecutive World Cup absence.
Despite the outcry following the matches and numerous calls for Peseiro’s dismissal, Adepoju expressed the view that, with the AFCON approaching, it wouldn’t be wise to terminate the services of the Portuguese coach.
“Well, number one, I don’t know the condition or what is that condition, and I don’t want to enter into the issue of whether he should go or not. But notwithstanding, I still don’t know,” he told Soccernet.
“The AFCON is here, and with this coach now, it might not be productive, so that’s my take. It has been done earlier (the sack of Nigeria’s former coach Gernot Rohr before the 2021 AFCON) and I don’t think it might be the solution for now” he commented.”
The figure often referred to as the “Headmaster” also contends that Nigeria’s recent poor performance is attributed to leadership issues within the team. He asserts that with the multitude of Nigerian players excelling globally, achieving the right blend of leadership and teamwork will propel the Super Eagles to success.
Nigeria, champions of the tournament in 2013, find themselves in Group A for the postponed 2023 AFCON alongside hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea.
As the competition kicks off early next year, the Super Eagles aim to erase the memories of their round of 16 exit in the previous edition held in neighboring Cameroon.