Saturday Dec 12, 2020. 13:00
Former Super Eagles star Emmanuel Amunike has revealed that the reason he rejected a top job with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was due to his current contract at Egyptian club Misr Lel Makkasa.
The NFF have appointed Austin Eguavoen as their technical director, but Amunike has revealed that the job was first offered to him.
The former Tanzania coach said he had to reject the NFF’s advances due to his deal with Makkasa, where he is the technical director after formerly serving as head coach.
“I was approached by the NFF for the role of a technical director but I had a contract with the people I was working with and I needed to respect the contract,” Amunike told Nigerian media outlet Punch.
“I was in a difficult situation with my team as of that time and we were in a relegation battle.
“Though my country comes first, I needed to respect my employers. They said they wanted me till after the season.”
Amunike, who famously took the Taifa Stars back to the AFCON finals in 2019, also ruled out the possibility of becoming Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr’s assistant.
“No! Why? I have my principles. We are ready to serve our nation. But as individuals, we have our reputation to protect,” he continued.
“If I come on board, I am a threat to Rohr. If I am here as an assistant, he will lose more concentration. He will think I am there to take his job.
“We have decided to give him the job, but let us support him. If Nigerians decide that Amunike, we need your service, I will be there. But it is not possible [to be Rohr’s assistant]. What will I be saying? He has his own philosophy, I have mine.
“Nobody has ever told me to come and be an assistant coach and if it’ll be, it is not possible, it will never be.
“I am not better than anybody. I am not arrogant. It is unfortunate that we don’t respect our stars in Africa. I deserve a little bit of respect and I didn’t reject any job.
“After U-20, I decided to get out of the Nigerian space. I took that decision myself. At the age that I am now, I have been involved in football all my life, for me I like challenges and I am not afraid. I should make decisions for myself and respect others.”