Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president, Wallace Karia has disclosed that the body decided to appoint former Super Eagles winger, Emmanuel Amuneke as their national team’s coach because they see him as a legend of African soccer.
Speaking at the official unveiling of Amuneke as Taifa Stars’ head coach on Monday, Karia said the Nigerian ex-international, who handled the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Chile 2015, played at the highest level and has huge experience as a coach.
Though Karia said Amuneke’s first full match with the Taifa Stars will be in September, for their next fixture in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, he hinted that the coach will also oversee Tanzania’s under-17 national team.
Before taking up the Tanzania job, Amuneke was a member of FIFA’s study group at the recent World Cup in Russia, where he joined other renowned names in the round leather game to analyse matches and present technical reports.
During the assignment in Russia the player-turned-coach, whose first coaching jobs were in Nigeria’s domestic league with Boys of Lagos and Ocean Boys of Brass, worked with the like of Marco van Basten and Carlos Alberto Parreira.
That was after the 47-year-old ex-player at Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Zamalek of Egypt, Sporting Lisbon of Portugal and Barcelona of Spain was most recently head coach at Al Khartoum Watani SC of Sudan.
Amuneke, who signed a two-year contract with the Tanzanian FA, was the assistant coach when Nigeria won the FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy for a record fourth time in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.
Two years later he led Nigeria to a fifth U-17 World Cup title in Chile and, revered as a proven youth manager, he was swiftly promoted to coach the U-20 side the Flying Eagles.
Amuneke’s first assignment with Tanzania will be to oversee Taifa Stars’ AFCON 2019 qualifier against Uganda on Saturday, September 8 in Kampala.
Karia also said during the ceremony at New African Hotel in the nation’s capital, Dar es Salaam, that Amuneke will have Tanzanians among his personal assistants in the coaching crew.
The TFF president added: “We are happy to have Amuneke who has played at the top and has a lot of experience as a coach. We have picked our very own from Africa.
“Amuneke will work with his assistant coach but will have another assistant and the technical crew will be Tanzanians.
“We shall have coaches for the other teams, but Amuneke will be the head starting with the 2019 African U-17 qualifiers which kick-off in Dar es Salaam this weekend.”