President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick on Saturday described late Amodu Shuaibu as “the man whose name is synonymous with the Super Eagles,” in acknowledgement of the tactician’s four –time stint with the Nigeria senior team.
Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach Manu Garba (OON) on Saturday stopped the on-going screening of budding talents into the U-17 National Team after news filtered in that the NFF’s Technical Director had died.
The former BCC Lions, El-Kanemi Warriors, Shooting Stars and Orlando Pirates technician died in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday, after complaining of chest pains on Friday night. He was known to be hypertensive, and had rejected taking over the Super Eagles’ coaching job in February on this ground.
Amodu took charge of the Super Eagles for the first time in 1994, at the age of 36, and would go ahead to take charge of the team in 1999, 2001-2002 and 2008-2010.
He qualified the Super Eagles for the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2010, but did not lead the team to the finals. He also qualified the Beach Soccer National Team, Supersand Eagles, for the 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, but did not lead the team at the finals as he refused to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He also qualified the Super Eagles for the first time to the FIFA World Cup, when alongside Stephen Keshi (who died on June 8) and Joe Erico, he rescued the Eagles’ flagging ship to win the last three matches of the campaign and reach the finals in Korea/Japan 2002, following the departure of Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere.
When he led BCC Lions of Gboko to win the Nigeria FA Cup in 1989, it was the first time a team from northern Nigeria would triumph in the competition in 36 years. The following year, he led BCC Lions to win the now –defunct Africa Cup Winners Cup. The team reached the final of the same competition in 1991.
When he left BCC Lions, Amodu steered El-Kanemi Warriors to win the FA Cup. He is the most decorated coach in Nigeria FA Cup history, having won it in 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994.
He won the Nigeria League and Cup double in 1994, and won the Super Cup in 1989, 1993 and 1994.
In his four stints with the Super Eagles, the Okpella –born tactician won 26 of a total of 53 matches, drawing 15 and losing 12.
Meanwhile Garba said Amodu’s death was not only tragic but a personal loss to him because it was under the watch of the late Super Eagles coach that he captained and won the FA Cup with El-Kanemi Warriors in the 1990s.
“This is a great loss to me,” Garba told thenff.com “I spoke with Amodu just two days ago and we discussed about our screening, and I feel so sad that he has gone few days after we lost Stephen Keshi. Amodu was my coach at El-Kanemi Warriors when I captained El-Kanemi to win the FA Cup and we have remained ever so close ever since.
“He was a man with a reservoir of knowledge and we all enjoyed his presentation during the CAF License A Coaching Course here in Abuja and I can’t just believe Amodu is dead. I’m too sad over this loss and in his honour, we have to call off our training session today (Saturday) and God’s willing, we shall continue on Monday,” Garba informed.
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