Jose Peseiro, the head coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, has faced considerable pressure following two consecutive draws in the Group C World Cup qualifiers. However, a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, Nse Essien, has disclosed that financial limitations prevent the federation from dismissing Peseiro due to the compensatory fees involved.
Nigeria’s recent performances against Lesotho and Zimbabwe have placed their chances of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup in jeopardy. Despite public calls for Peseiro’s dismissal, Essien explained that the NFF is financially incapable of covering the costs associated with terminating his contract.
Essien, in a post-match interview, acknowledged the widespread demand for Peseiro’s removal, expressing the NFF’s dissatisfaction with the team’s current standing. However, monetary constraints are a significant obstacle.
Nigeria’s qualification hopes suffered a blow after a draw with Zimbabwe, where Zimbabwe’s Walter Musona scored from a free-kick, and Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho later equalized. This outcome, coupled with an earlier draw against Lesotho, leaves Nigeria with just two points from two matches.
Currently, South Africa leads Group C with three points and is expected to extend their lead in an upcoming match against Rwanda. Meanwhile, Nigeria, who missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, faces an uphill battle to regain momentum in the qualifiers.
The next round of qualifiers, scheduled for June 2024, will be crucial for Nigeria as they host South Africa in Uyo before facing a challenging match against the Benin Republic. The NFF’s current focus is on navigating these challenges with Peseiro at the helm, given the financial implications of seeking a change in coaching staff.