A former Super Eagles star, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said he rejected an offer to become the Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation because of his existing contract with a club.
He said this on Friday while speaking to our source, Kick&Follow, where football stars discuss topical issues in Nigerian football.
Though the 1994 African Player of the Year did not mention the club, it was learnt that Amuneke joined Misr Lel-Makkasa Sporting Club, popularly called El Makkasa, in Faiyum, Egypt, after leaving Tanzania on mutual consent.
He explained that the club he was working with agreed to release him after the season.
Amuneke, who won Olympic Gold in 1996 as a player and led Nigeria to the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile, said, “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.
“I was in a difficult situation with my team as of that time and we were in a relation battle.
Though my country comes first, I needed to respect my employers. They said they wanted me till after the season.”
After rejecting the position, the NFF appointed Austin Eguavoen as its Technical Director.
Amuneke led the Golden Eaglets to a fifth U-17 World Cup title in Chile and was swiftly promoted to coach Nigeria’s under-20 side, the Flying Eagles.
As a player, he scored two goals at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia where Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 to win their second African title.
He also scored memorable goals against Bulgaria and Italy for the Super Eagles at the 1994 World Cup.
Nigeria stunned Argentina 3-2 in the 1996 Olympic football final in Atlanta to become the first African football nation to win Olympic gold.
Amuneke helped the Taifa Stars of Tanzania qualify for AFCON for the first time in 39 years but left by mutual consent following the team’s failure to progress to the knock-out stages of Egypt 2019.