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Africa benefits from European coaches, claims Amunike

Tanzania coach and Nigeria great Emmanuel Amunike believes that African football benefits from the influx of European coaches, and believes that local tacticians have much to learn from their foreign counterparts.

African football - both at international and domestic level - has a long history of importing foreign coaches, the majority of whom come from Europe.

While the incoming managers may risk limiting the opportunities for local coaches, Amunike believes that the influx of foreign talent makes the continent's football stronger.

"European coaches coming to Africa is a blessing," Amunike told KweséESPN. "There is really a lot we learn as coaches, players and administrators from having coaches from other continents around.

"Nobody was born with ready-made experience, and we all keep getting it from the different interactions with coaches from other continents, especially Europe," he continued. "It's a big plus."

While Africa's top four teams - as per the FIFA World Rankings - are currently overseen by local coaches, the likes of Nigeria (Gernot Rohr), Cameroon (Clarence Seedorf), and Morocco (Herve Renard) all employ European managers.

Three of the last four Africa Cup of Nations winners were managed by European coaches, while the likes of Roger Lemerre, Winfried Schafer, Pierre Lechantre and Clemens Westerhof have won the tournament in the past.

"I did my coaching course in Spain, and it took me three years to accomplish it, with a lot learnt," Amunike continued. "There is a lot that is taught out there in Europe, and when their coaches come to Africa we should also try to be close and learn from them instead of looking at them like they are taking our jobs.

"I'm not interested on where someone comes from as a coach, but what matters is that everybody has the ability to coach if qualified, but not everyone can compete at the same level because of different factors.

"We must learn to appreciate that these coaches from other continents bring some special things to our players, but they also learn a lot working in Africa."

Amunike's own employers, the Tanzania Football Federation, also have a history of turning to European talent, with Mart Nooij, Jan and Kim Poulsen, and Rudi Gutendorf among the Nigerian's predecessors.

As well as accepting the influx of European coaches to Africa, Amunike also hopes that he can transfer his talents beyond the continent's shores.

"My time to coach outside Africa will come," he concluded. "I'm the kind of coach who does not rush to sign a contract, but analyses a number of issues before I take up a job."

Amunike will make his bow as Tanzania coach when the Taifa Stars face Uganda next month.


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