Celestine Babayaro Flays NFF Over Joseph Yobo’s Appointment

Celestine Babayaro has faulted Joseph Yobo’s appointment into the Super Eagles coaching staff decrying Yobo’s lack of coaching credentials.

Former Super Eagles captain and ex-Everton defender Joseph Yobo was announced as manager Gernot Rohr’s assistant two weeks ago replacing NPFL winning coach Imama Amapakabo.

Babayaro, 41, who played alongside Yobo for a time in the Super Eagles welcomed the idea of getting ex-internationals into the national team coaching staff but drew the line at appointing ex-players for the sake of it.

The former Chelsea left-back who won an Olympic gold medal with Nigeria at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, said any such appointment must be backed by requisite qualifications.

Babayaro and Yobo were in the Nigeria squad at both the 2002 World Cup and two years later at the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

“From my point of view as an ex-player I think he is a good appointment probably done in a wrong way,” the former Newcastle player, who is now an agent, told BBC Sport.

“I’m not sure if he’s got his badges but if you are trying to appoint someone you make sure they’ve got the right credentials before you appoint them.

“I don’t care if it’s an ex (player) or whoever, make sure you appoint the right person that knows the job.

“Yes Joseph Yobo has been a captain for Nigeria and he has done well, if you want to give him that sort of position make sure he gets the right badges.

“If he hasn’t got his badges send him somewhere. It takes a few months or less than a year.

“Get the right badges, get the right papers and make him whatever you want to make him.”

Yobo’s appointment divided opinion when it was made with even Gernot Rohr not hiding his disappointment over the axing of his assistant for a coaching neophyte.

However, Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick defended the decision saying it was part of the Federation’s plans to coopt more ex-internationals into Nigerian football structure at all levels.

“The concept behind this is to nurture and condition former captain Joseph Yobo to provide leadership and mentorship for the young team,” NFF boss Amaju Pinnick said at the time.