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NFF/Paul Le Guen Drama: Looking Beyond Foreign Coach Appointment

23/07/2016

/ by Augustine Akhilomen
It's quite sad that the Nigeria Football Federation has failed to learn a lesson from Paul Le Guen's rejection of managing the Super Eagles despite been announced as the substantive coach on Monday.

The football house in a bid to cover up for their shameful acts is already shopping for another foreign coach amongst the list of shortlisted applicants that would take over the responsibility of qualifying the team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

However, will heaven fall if the NFF-led board under the leadership of Amaju Pinnick decides to ignore the call for the appointment of a foreign coach for the senior national team and focus more on the indigenous coaches?

Without any form of condemnation, there is no harm in spotlighting other credible coaches around the world but considering their financial constraint regardless of any multinational company set to offset the bill of the foreign coach, the NFF must show a sense a responsibility at this level of the nation's football.

Nigeria will meet their most fierce rivals Cameroon, Africa’s top ranked team Algeria and 2012 continental champions Zambia in Group B in the Russia 2018 final round qualifiers. Nigeria opens their World Cup qualifying campaign against Zambia in Lusaka on October 3, and host Algeria on November 7.

With just three months to the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Lusaka, it's unimaginable that Nigeria is still battling with the announcement of a substantive coach even when 'almighty' Spain and England have announced a new coach for their teams.

There is no doubt that the Glass House seem not to have total confidence on the locally based coaches in spite of their past achievement from the underage level to the senior national team. However, they should not misunderstood success for a white skin because there is no guarantee that a foreign coach would win the World Cup for Nigeria.

According to former Super Eagles defender Emeka Ezeugo, he says the Nigeria Football Federation should banish the idea of waiting endlessly for a foreign coach after Paul Le Guen's rejection of Nigeria but focus more on Nigerian coaches for the task ahead.

“We have Nigerian coaches better than him. I think the NFF decided to give the job because he’s got a white skin. We don’t need a foreign coach to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia if football is properly run in the country.”

“No foreign coach has ever won the World Cup. Le Guen didn’t deserve to be offered a job by the NFF because he is not a top quality coach.

“Since Le Guen has disappointed them (NFF), let them give the job to a Nigerian coach.”

“I’m embarrassed by the decision to offer Le Guen the job. We are going into the qualifiers unprepared. If you go into a battle unprepared, you have prepared to fail. We were number five in the world in 1994. Now we are 70th in the world, and 17th in Africa,” Ezeugo, who represented the country at the 1994 World Cup said.

In the same vein, Former Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Tunde Disu, has charged the Nigeria Football Federation to look beyond hiring a foreign coach for the Super Eagles due to the risk involved on their opponents’ profiles.

“I don’t think coaches will like to take Eagles’ job for now; we are in a tough group to qualify for the World Cup; consider Algeria and our perennial competitor, Cameroon and Zambia.

“If I am in the position, I will not call anybody else; I will give the job to the caretaker coach, Salisu Yusuf to take over.

“A lot of coaches have tasted that team but the only coach around now is Salisu who has also gone around and have the experience.

“He even won the friendly against Mali, so, I think he is competent enough to handle the team; he is qualified to lead them; we should support him to succeed.”

Meanwhile, in a different opinion by former Nigeria coach and FIFA/CAF Technical Advisor Adegboye Onigbinde, he revealed that the decision of Frenchman Paul Le Guen to snub Nigeria after he was recommended for the Super Eagles coaching job by the Nigeria Football Federation was a national disgrace.

"A portion of FIFA rules talks about a game being brought into disrepute. The NFF by that singular act of shabbily handling the purported appointment and or recommendation of Le Guen and even making it a public discourse, to me, have brought Nigeria into disrepute and should have resigned or be sacked were it to be in other climes," Onigbinde said

"That a football federation interviewed a coach on Skype and announced to the world he has been recommended for appointment, only for the coach to say no, I don't want your job, keep it to yourself. What a shame, what an embarrassment."





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