Off-field problems distracting us –Eagles coaches


Off-field problems distracting us –Eagles coaches

January 5, 2016

Pius Ayinor

The coaches of the Super Eagles B team, who are in South Africa preparing for the 2016 Africa Nations Championship, have lamented that they are being distracted by issues outside the field of play.

A confidant of the coaches did not list the exact off-field matters disturbing their concentration but The PUNCH learnt on authority that the major issue remains the non-payment of their outstanding salaries. Our correspondent had reached out to the Pretoria camp of the Eagles to verify their readiness for the competition kicking off in Rwanda on January 16.

“We are far from being ready because off-field problems are still troubling us,” our correspondent was told via a text message.

A friend of one of the coaches had told The PUNCH last week that the wait for their salaries was becoming a big distraction even though the coaches have refused to speak publicly on the matter.

He said, “I know some of the close family members and friends who are paid regularly from that account (one of coaches) and none of them appears to have received anything in the last two months. And so whether nobody speaks to the public doesn’t matter as I can easily confirm payment when those dependents receive cash transfers from the account.”

The Nigeria Football Federation officials have stated that the issue would be shortly sorted out with one of their major sponsors, Zenith Bank.

The Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh arrived in South Africa from Belgium shortly before the players and the assistant coaches took off from Nigeria for the preparatory venue on Saturday.

And as the training programme reaches the peak, it has been confirmed that the Eagles will take on South African Absa Premiership side University of Pretoria in a warm-up match billed for Tuesday.

The game which is billed for the practice pitch of the University of Pretoria was announced on Monday via the Super Eagles official Twitter handle.

“We will play PSL side AmaTuks in a tune up game on the practice pitch of University of Pretoria from 10am tomorrow,” the Super Eagles tweeted.

After the game against University of Pretoria, the home-based Eagles will play two friendlies against Angola and Ivory Coast before heading to Rwanda where the competition will end on February 7.