By Taiwo Alimi

Mixed reactions have trailed the appointment of former national team captain Joseph Yobo as an assistant Super Eagles coach by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF said on Wednesday that the former Everton defender will take over immediately from Imama Amapakabo but the arrangement has received kudos and knocks from football stakeholders.

Two-time national team coach Adegboye Onigbinde said the appointment did not meet international best practices as the position was not even advertised.

“First, let me make this clear I don’t need a job at the age of 82 and I don’t want people to start saying it is because I want the job that I’m criticizing the (Yobo) appointment,” said the first indigenous coach to lead Nigeria to win silver at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 1984.

“Before you can appoint a coach, the best practice is that the qualification of the person must be verified but I wouldn’t know If NFF have done that.

Of course, Yobo was in my team to the World Cup in 2002 and I can vouch for his dedication. He is a strong-minded man and committed but coaching is beyond that. He was taken because he was a star player but former star players don’t necessarily make the best coach.

They are two different things,” he added.


Onigbinde, a former CAF and FIFA instructor insisted that Yobo needed to have undergone a certified coaching training to be considered for such an exalted position.

“There was a time some ex-internationals complained that I did not play the game hence I could not coach a team well and my answer is did Jose Mourinho play football and who can deny his coaching prowess and achievement today? Yet, great players like Maradona did not make it big in coaching. I admire Yobo as a player and I wish him luck in this new job,” Onigbinde said.

But former national team winger and a member of the 1980 AFCON-winning squad, Felix Owolabi has a different view, insisting that Yobo’s appointment was in the right direction based on his pedigree as renown international.

“He (Yobo) was a former  player and captain of the national  team, which give him good opportunity to know the state of minds of the players and make good case for their welfare before the NFF,” Owolabi popularly known as Owoblow  explained.

“What his appointment connotes to the past and present players is the hope that if they do well for their nation as player, the NFF will not forget them after their retirement,” Owolabi said.

Speaking in the same vein, Yobo’s former teammate to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Sanni Kaita, equally hailed the appointment. “This is really a nice news and shows a good sign of many things to come. Yobo has an all-round football experience, that’s what really matter. His football experience would surely help the lads,” Kaita said.