Foreign coaches are steadily pushing for the Super Eagles job with some officials at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) claiming that at least four Europeans have sent in papers.
Those listed to have applied for the Nigeria job are former Eagles coach Jo Bonfrere; a former coach of Cameroon and Congo Claude Le Roy and former French Olympic coach Paul Le Guen.
But despite the pressure from the agents of these coaches on the NFF to consider them, our correspondent learnt that the federation members have decided to ignore all applications till the race to the 2017 African Cup of Nations is completed.
An official said, “We are only thinking of the Egypt game now and not about those who want the Eagles job. The situation demands concentration and not any form of distraction. Moreover we have confidence in Samson Siasia and his technical crew for the task ahead and so all other things can wait.”
The enthusiasm from Europe may have been fuelled by the statement made by the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, in the USA last month. The NFF boss had said that the federation would get their next coach from abroad following the sudden departure of Nigeria’s former coach Sunday Oliseh from his position. His departure forced the NFF to deploy Siasia on an interim basis.
The PUNCH has also learnt that Siasia may be allowed to continue for a longer spell if he is able to beat the Egyptians in Kaduna and Alexandria this month.
Paul Le Guen is said to be leading the race to become the next Eagles manager.
Le Guen was sacked as Oman’s head coach after the side lost 2-1 to Turkmenistan on November 17 last year. We learnt that he has also requested former Eagles captain Austin Jay- Jay Okocha to be his first assistant on the job.
Bonfrere who won the ’96 Olympics football gold with Nigeria was kicked out when Sierra Leone beat a star-loaded Eagles team 1-0 in Freetown on the road to the 2002 World Cup. He has been parading himself as the best choice since Oliseh left. Le Roy has not worked with Nigeria but has always put himself up for consideration in the last two decades whenever there’s vacancy in Nigeria.