The Nigerian football ruling body, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday said its plan to get a foreign coach for the Super Eagles is still ongoing.
Specifically, the NFF said it would meet with its sponsor next week to know the amount of money already secured and also ‘work out’ modalities for payment of the foreign coach.
The failure by coach Samson Siasia to qualify the Super Eagles for the 2017 AFCON prompted the NFF to declare its desire for a foreign coach, but the sports minister Solomon Dalong rejected the idea saying: “The hiring and firing of coaches just on one performance speaks volumes of senses of judgement and it does not augur well for our football. It must stop now.”
However, such position taken by Dalong regarding NFF’s plan to hire a foreign coach for the senior national team has not gone down well with the Senate Committee on Sports.
On Thursday, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, former first Vice President of the NFF, Obinna Ogba, carpeted the sports minister for his ‘over bearing’ influence on the NFF.
He wondered why the sports minister always took delight in running a parallel administration with the NFF president in handling the affairs of football in Nigeria.
Ogba said: “The President of Nigerian Football Federation (Amaju Pinnick) will make a statement and the sports minister would make contrary statement.
“I think there is need to call a spade a spade because we can’t continue this way. The Minister lacks the political will to get rid of the crisis bedeviling the NFF. Dalong is a Minister and he is not to run the affairs of NFF.
“As a Minister, his function is to supervise and not to run the day to day affairs of the NFF. For instance, the NFF president said he wants to employ foreign coach, and the minister came out to say he has not given approval. It is not the duty of the minister to give approval or not to give approval.
“I was the first Vice President of the NFF and I know that whoever runs the Nigeria Federation of football is elected and the person has the mandate of the people,” Ogba stated.
An official of the NFF told media yesterday that the federation had been doing its ‘under ground work’ regarding the hiring of the foreign coach.
“We don’t really want to join issues with the sports minister. That is why we have been silent on this issue of hiring a foreign coach. Now, we have finalized our plans and by next week, we will meet with the sponsor to know how much is available. We are going ahead with our plan of hiring a foreign coach because we have to move our football forward,” the official stated.
The NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, first vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi and Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi are expected back in the country next week from Mexico, where they attended FIFA General Congress.