Emmanuel Amuneke, the new head coach of the Tanzanian national team, is revered as a youth manager and he’s assured of his readiness to take the Taifa Stars to greater heights/ Photo: Screenshot/Pulse Nigeria

Tanzania appoints former Nigerian international Amuneke as new national coach

The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has announced the appointment of former Nigerian winger, Emmanuel Amuneke, as the new head coach of the national team, Taifa Stars.

Amuneke signed a two-year contract with the TFF on Monday.

“I am happy to start this new job and work hard so that we can achieve a lot together,” Amuneke, who was most recently coach of Sudan Premier League side Al Khartoum SC, said.

The former Barcelona winger’s immediate task will be to help the Taifa Stars qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

His first official game will be on 7 September, a qualifier against Uganda in Kampala, for 2019 AFCON.

Amuneke, 47, replaces local coach Salum Mayanga who had been in charge of Tanzania since last year.

Wallace Karia, president of the TFF told the BBC that Amuneke will also oversee the other Tanzania teams, including the U-17 and U-20 groups.

Amuneke 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 Amuneke 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.

“I’m ready for this big task. Tanzania is not one of the top footballing nation in Africa but I hope to transform the Taifa Stars to a good team,” Amuneke said.

As a player, he was a key part of the Super Eagles team, scoring both goals at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia where Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 to secure their second African title.

Amuneke, capped 27 times by Nigeria, was a member of the Super Eagles side that won the 1994 AFCON title in Tunisia. He also played at the 1994 World Cup – scoring memorable goals against Bulgaria and Italy.

Amuneke scored the winner again as Nigeria stunned Argentina 3-2 in the 1996 Olympic football final in Atlanta to become the first African football nation to win Olympic gold.

Austin Ohaegbu

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