The 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Segun Odegbami has charged the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to prioritise appointing a Nigerian head coach for the Super Eagles.

Since Nigeria won her first AFCON trophy in 1980, ten foreign coaches have handled the men’s national team.

Only Dutch tactician Clemens Westerhof repeated the feat, guiding the Super Eagles to glory at the 1994 AFCON.

A few Nigerian coaches have served as the Super Eagles head coach within that period, with former international Stephen Keshi leading the team to lift the 2013 edition in South Africa.

The latest foreign gaffer to coach the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, helped the West African powerhouse to reach the final of the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire last month.

Interestingly, Peseiro vacated the post after failing to agree with the NFF on terms regarding the extension of his expired contract.

Subsequently, the NFF has declared the Super Eagles head coach position vacant and has called for interested parties to apply.

Despite several Nigerian coaches – including Emmanuel Amunike, George Finidi, and Sylvanus Okpala – showing interest in the top job, the NFF could be open to hiring another foreign coach for the Eagles.

However, Odegbami has charged the NFF to consider only top Nigerian coaches for the Super Eagles coaching job.

The 1980 AFCON top scorer is convinced that indigenous coaches are qualified enough and will be more passionate about the national assignment than their foreign counterparts.

“Nigeria must now place her destiny in the hands of qualified and patriotic Nigerians,” Odegbami wrote in his column in the Complete Sports.

“The Super Eagles must carry the banner of Nigeria proudly and without any dilution of its spirit to achieve ultimate greatness in the world.

“The coach of the Super Eagles must wear the country’s ambition like a cloak.

“If the price of the elevation of Nigeria and the emancipation of the Black Race is that we ‘lose’ now to gain experience and eventual success, we must pay that price. That is the route to go.

“No more foreign coaches in Nigeria! Let us sink or swim with Nigerians, even in football!”

Nigeria will play against South Africa in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in June.

The NFF will be expected to appoint the new head coach before that encounter as Nigeria look forward to avoiding the disappointment of missing out on the 2026 World Cup in Qatar.