Sports

AFCON 2019: Amuneke Confirms Sack, Says Coaching Tanzania Was Great Experience

By Peter Ejiofor

Coach Emmanuel Amuneke, ex-Super Eagles winger, says his two-year contract with the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) has been terminated.

Amuneke signed a two year contract with the TFF in 2018 and successfully qualified the country for the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after 39 years absence.

Tanzania lost its matches in Group C to Algeria, Senegal and Kenya.

Amuneke told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Wednesday that he and the federation mutually agreed to terminate the contract when the team returned from Egypt.

“The story is that we have mutually parted ways. After the AFCON, we came back, had a meeting with the federation and they said they want to continue with another coach.

“I thank the federation and Tanzanian people for giving me the opportunity to coach their national team. In football, it’s one of those things that happen and you have to learn to forge ahead,’’ he said.

Amuneke said working in Tanzania in the past year was a great experience and rewarding.

According to him, of the two years contract he signed, he qualified the country to play in AFCON after 39 years absence.

Tanzania’s AFCON appearance before the 2019 edition was in Nigeria in 1980.

“For me, the experience was great. In every endeavour, you need challenges and the Tanzanian job is one of the challenges.

“In the 80s, I was about eight years and can hardly remember if AFCON was played in Nigeria.

“As destiny will have it, in 2018, I found myself in Tanzania and of the two years contract I signed, I qualified them for the 2019 AFCON,’’ he said.

The former Nigeria U-17 and U-20 national team coach, said the 2019 AFCON was the first experience for the Tanzanian players.

“You cannot do away with some mistakes and nervousness and I believe it is this process that will afford you the opportunity to mature and grow.

“For me, it is an experience and I am happy that we came here and were able to position Tanzanian football to African level.

“I am happy and grateful to Tanzanian people for giving me the opportunity to serve,’’ he said.

Amuneke said for now, he will take out time to rest and be with his family.

“But coach Amuneke will still be in football,’’ he said.
 (NAN)

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