Nse Essien, a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, has revealed that the football body will be unable to pay the super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro's compensatory fees if he is fired.
The Portuguese coach has come under raging scrutiny after his team drew two consecutive Group C World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho on Thursday and Zimbabwe on Sunday, putting Nigeria's qualification for the 2026 World Cup in jeopardy.
Walter Musona scored directly from a free kick to put Zimbabwe ahead in the first half, but Nigeria equalized midway through the second.
In a post-match interview, Essien stated that he was aware of the calls for Peseiro's sacking, but that the NFF was limited by financial constraints.
"If we had the money (to pay for compensation), we would be willing to relieve him of his job, we're not happy," NFF member Essien told reporters.
“Everybody is asking for the sack of the head coach. It’s unfortunate that from a possible six points we only have two points. We’re in a very precarious situation.”
South Africa leads Group C of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers with three points and is expected to widen the gap when they visit Rwanda on Tuesday, while Lesotho hosts Benin in South Africa.
Nigeria, who failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has two points from two games.
The qualifiers will resume in June 2024, with Nigeria hoping to make up ground against South Africa in the southern city of Uyo before a difficult trip to Benin.