Augustine Eguavoen has stepped down from his role as the interim coach of the Nigeria’s Super Eagles after the team’s campaign at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon came to an abrupt end, late Sunday.
Nigerians and football fans on the continent were shocked to the bone marrow as the Super Eagles disastrously lost 1-0 to a struggling Tunisian side, considered to be an underdog going into the round of 16 clash.
Eguavoen had led the three-time champions to three straight wins against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau, making pundits to predict success for Nigeria, three-time champions in the ongoing edition of the continental football fiesta.
However, they fell short against a Covid-stricken Tunisian team in the knockout stages.
“What happens next is that I’m the interim coach and Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“I will go back to my position and allow the NFF (to) make a decision on the way forward,” Eguavoen said after the match.
The North Africans now advance to the competition’s quarter-finals where they will take on the Stallions of Burkina Faso on the same Stade Roumde Adjia pitch in Garoua.
Eguavoen, while speaking at the post-match press conference, blamed bad officiating for his team’s ouster from the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
He however pointed out that it was always very difficult when you play against a tactical side like Tunisia, especially when the officiating was not fair.
“I won’t criticise the referee because they are masters of the game, but Alex Iwobi’s red card wasn’t fair. The foul wasn’t an intentional one,” the coach added.
Recall Eguavoen was appointed on an interim basis after Gernot Rohr was sacked last month. The NFF had announced Jose Peseiro as the new permanent coach before the AFCON kicked off, but other details on when he is expected to take up the role have since become a matter of speculation as he was not sighted in Cameroon to understudy the Nigerian senior side as NFF had earlier claimed while announcing his appointment.
The Super Eagles will now look forward to the 2022 FIFA World Cup African Zone playoffs in March against Ghana.