Recent news has been circulating about the dismissal of Augustine Eguavoen following the Super Eagles 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the 2021 African Cup of Nations round 16 on Sunday. But according to him, allegations about his exit remain false.
Eguavoen led Nigeria to three straight wins against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau but fell short despite the odds favoring them from a COVID-stricken Tunisia team in the round of 16.
🦅 I pledge to Nigeria my Country 🇳🇬!! Thank you Nigerians for your support and Special thanks to my players & colleagues for their 100% commitment.#TotalEnergiesAfcon2021 #TeamNigeria pic.twitter.com/b0rb0AJIIP
— Austin Eguavoen (@coacheguavoen) January 20, 2022
The recently awarded “Best Coach” of the AFCON season shed some light about the issue, simply stating his role to the team and the situation with former coach Gernot Rohr — pointing out the journalist misinterpreted the news.
“I came here as an interim manager because of what’s been played out,”— Eguavoen told BBC Sport Africa.
“Our former coach was relieved of his duties and it was just weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations.
“As technical director, anywhere in the world, that is what is obtainable. If there is a vacancy, it is the technical director that steps in before the coach has been appointed.
“So that’s why you see me taking this role and an interim man.
“Some of our journalists sometimes change words, which is not too good. But we will manage it.”
@coacheguavoen You took charge of the Team 25 days to Africa’s Biggest Football Competition. In such a short time, Nigerians witnessed some of the best football we’ve seen from the Super Eagles 🦅 in a while. A new found hope came in.
Thank you Legend, for everything. 💚🇳🇬
— Desmond ✨ (@dezebohon) January 24, 2022
Eugovan currently plays the technical director role at the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) but was abruptly tasked to take charge after the sacking of long-time coach Rohr, just four weeks before the tournament began.
Fortunately, Nigeria reached out to Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro to carry on duties at the end of December. Still, it went as an observer with the Super Eagles when the tournament began.
Nonetheless, a dilemma in the Nigerian den arose whether or not Eguovan will continue his duties as interim coach of the 2022 World Cup play-off in March.
“That I cannot answer,” he said.
“The only thing that I can tell you is I’m still the technical director of the federation and I am happy with that.”