APPOINTMENT of former Nigerian international, Emmanuel Amunike to head the national football team, Taifa Stars technical bench has been received with mixed feelings by stakeholders.
Daniel Amokachi has congratulated former teammate Emmanuel Amunike on being named Tanzania head coach, after initial reports suggested that the former had been appointed.
On Monday, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) unveiled Amunike in Dar es Salaam, with the 47-year-old being handed a two-year deal to replace out-of-contract Salum Mayanga.
However, preceding Amunike’s reveal, the Tanzanian media had been abuzz with rumours that another Nigerian great - Amokachi - has been appointed.
The speculation prompted the KweséESPN pundit to dismiss the rumours and to congratulate Amunike. “What’s up guys, (it’s) not me,” he wrote on his @FrenzziiiBull Twitter handle.
“It’s my bro Emmanuel Amunike, had the discussion with him a week ago about him taking over as head coach of the Tanzanian national team. “Congratulations bro, you have all it takes to succeed.”
Amokachi and Amunike were teammates together as Nigeria clinched the 1994 African Cup of Nations and the Olympic gold medal in 1996.
Both have also been involved in the coaching set-up for the Super Eagles national sides at various age levels. Amunike won the U-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015 and was recently head coach of Sudan’s Al Khartoum SC. Former TFF Technical Director Salum Madadi is pleased that Amunike has been appointed as Stars coach.
Madadi, who is now the federation’s Competition Director said the sheer status of Amunike will inspire Stars players to perform with vigor.
Veteran sports analyst, Attilio Tagalile lauded the TFF leadership, saying they have brought in the right man, this time not only for Taifa Stars, but also for all other national soccer teams.
“As rightly noted by the TFF President, this is a man any Tanzanian sports journalist worth his or her name should be knowing, especially so, if such a journalist is a broadly minded man or woman who has been reading, writing and following up international soccer developments in the last decade or so.
“Indeed, Amunike is a household name when it comes to internationally acclaimed African and global footballers, given the kind of teams the Nigerian has played for before he got himself to his latest duty of producing young players for clubs and national soccer teams,” he said.
Tagalile lauded the TFF’s arrangement of getting Amunike to serve more than Taifa Stars by also putting his well needed services at the disposal of U-23, U-20 and U-17.
“Down there, Amunike would firstly be able to help the nation in ensuring whether or not we really have coaches, who can prepare children in the game,” he said.