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AFCON

Super Eagles are now without a coach

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

After the final whistle of the title match for the 34th Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan late Sunday night, the Nigerian football team, the Super Eagles became coachless.

The interim contract signed with the Portuguese manager, Jose Peseiro lapsed as it was tied to the end of the AFCON 2023. The original contract ended last year June, but had to be extended to cover the period of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The renewal of the interim six-month contract was tied to Nigeria getting to the semi-finals, a condition that Peseiro met when the Super Eagles defeated Angola in the quarter finals.

Nigeria’s next assignment is the qualification for the 2025 AFCON which preliminaries begin next month.

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Although for the first time in recent history of the competition, CAF failed to announce the fixtures for the preliminaries of the next edition.

But a time line had already been issued since last year. The detail schedule runs thus:

  • Preliminary round: 18–26 March 2024
  • First and second matchdays: 2–10 September 2024
  • Third and fourth matchdays: 7–15 October 2024
  • Fifth and sixth matchdays: 11–19 November 2024

In addition, the Super Eagles have two match days of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. On 2 June, they will be hosting Bafana Bafana and then travel to Benin Republic for another World Cup qualifier on 9 June.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.