Yusuf to lead Eagles against Mali, Luxembourg
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that the Super Eagles will take on the Eagles of Mali and Luxembourg’s national team in two international friendly matches in Europe in the next FIFA window. And in the absence of a substantive coach for the Super Eagles, the assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf, will be in-charge of the team for the matches.
According to the NFF, the three-time African champions take on Mali, ranked four places above them at 63, at the Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen, France on May 27, 2016.
Mali finished as runner-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1972, and took bronze medals at the finals in 2012 and 2013.
The Eagles of Mali have already qualified for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals, having garnered 10 points from their first four matches of the qualification series, in a Group C that also has Equatorial Guinea, Benin Republic and South Sudan.
The federation disclosed that its FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon, confirmed that the Super Eagles would then play the national team of Luxembourg in Luxembourg on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at a venue to be finalised in a few days. Nigeria were billed to take on Chad around that time in continuation of the AFCON qualifiers before their opponents pulled out due to financial constraints.
In March, the Eagles failed to qualify for next year’s AFCON in Gabon.
The three-time African champions are yet to announce a new coach for the team after the two-match mandate handed caretaker coach Samson Siasia.
It is likely a foreign coach will be hired to guide the Eagles through to the World Cup qualifiers. But before then, Super Eagles assistant coach, Yusuf, will lead the team to the two friendlies.
The NFF technical committee rose from its meeting yesterday in Abuja and recommended Yusuf to lead the Eagles for the two matches.
Two coaches from the Premier League will assist him.
Yusuf, who recently visited Scotland to understudy the coach of Hearts FC, has been assistant to Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh and was also involved with the recent arrangement led by caretaker coach Samson Siasia.
He has coached Enyimba and Kano Pillars.
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