Nigeria’s assistant coach Daniel Amokachi has reportedly resigned just before the Super Eagles’ critical match against Bafana Bafana.

The game, set for Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, carries significant weight as both teams vie for a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. A victory could be a pivotal step towards qualification from Group C.

The last encounter between these two teams saw Nigeria triumph over South Africa in a dramatic penalty shootout, securing their place in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final. Although Nigeria finished as runners-up in that tournament, the stakes are even higher this time with 2026 FIFA World Cup aspirations on the line.

Amokachi’s resignation has added an unexpected twist to Nigeria’s preparations. The former Everton star, who served as the first assistant to head coach Finidi George, was a crucial part of the technical team. His departure leaves a significant gap in the coaching staff just before such a crucial match.

Various media reports have suggested that Amokachi was not on good terms with George and had rejected the contract offered to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) a few months ago. Despite rumours that Amokachi was imposed on George by higher authorities, NFF president Ibrahim Gusau strongly refuted these claims.

“I was very happy when we unveiled Finidi to Nigeria,” Gusau said at the time. “The NFF technical director put all the names on the list, and they chose the best they felt would work. All the names you saw as assistants to Finidi were chosen by him.”

While the NFF has yet to issue an official statement regarding Amokachi’s resignation, the timing and nature of his departure have sparked considerable speculation. The Super Eagles must now regroup quickly to ensure this development does not derail their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.