After the final whistle of the title match for the 34th Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan late Sunday night, the Nigerian football team, the Super Eagles became coachless.
The interim contract signed with the Portuguese manager, Jose Peseiro lapsed as it was tied to the end of the AFCON 2023. The original contract ended last year June, but had to be extended to cover the period of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The renewal of the interim six-month contract was tied to Nigeria getting to the semi-finals, a condition that Peseiro met when the Super Eagles defeated Angola in the quarter finals.
Nigeria’s next assignment is the qualification for the 2025 AFCON which preliminaries begin next month.
Although for the first time in recent history of the competition, CAF failed to announce the fixtures for the preliminaries of the next edition.
But a time line had already been issued since last year. The detail schedule runs thus:
Preliminary round: 18–26 March 2024
First and second matchdays: 2–10 September 2024
Third and fourth matchdays: 7–15 October 2024
Fifth and sixth matchdays: 11–19 November 2024
In addition, the Super Eagles have two match days of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. On 2 June they will be hosting Bafana Bafana and then travel to Benin Republic for another World Cup qualifier on 9 June.
The preliminary round of the qualifying series for Morocco 2025 Africa Cup of Nations is expected to begin on 18 March.
But as a departure from tradition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) did not release the fixtures for the qualifying series of the next edition as Cote d’Ivoire 2025 came to a close on Sunday night.
In the past, the draws were conducted during a running final series. For instance, that of the one just concluded was conducted and released on 21 January 2022 in Douala as the Cameroon 2021 was on.
The draw for the qualification series for Cameroon 2021 was conducted during Egypt 2019 on 18 July 2019 in Cairo just like that of Egypt 2019 was conducted on 12 January 2017 during Gabon 2017.
A day after the final match of Cote d’Ivoire 2023, it is already 34 days to the start of the preliminary competition of the next edition. The opponents don’t know themselves.
The next available international window is that of March 18 to 26 where teams can play just two matches. The June window is already dedicated to the World Cup qualification.
(Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe)