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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Friday, 6 August 2010 17:22 UK

Lars Lagerback refuses to continue with Nigeria

Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sports Lagos

Lars Lagerback
Lagerback has been criticised in the Nigerian press

Swedish coach Lars Lagerback has finally ended speculation over his future as coach of Nigeria's Super Eagles.

In a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation Lagerback said he would not continue in the role.

Lagerback led the Super Eagles to the World Cup in South Africa, where they were knocked out in the first round.

Some reports in the local media claimed NFF officials had offered the 62-year-old a contract extension.

But Dominic Iorfa, who heads the technical department which is in charge of hiring coaches, has told the BBC Lagerback has turned down the offer.

"[Lagerback] said it was a very kind offer but he wasn't keen on it," Iorfa said.

"There's absolutely nothing to worry about because we had our plan B and C," he continued.

Lagerback's decision not to return will be hailed by a section of the media and fans.

His reign was dogged by criticism in the local media over his salary, team selection, and tactics.

Ex-Super Eagles striker and former coach of Nigeria's Under-20 and Olympic teams, Samson Siasia is now favourite to get the job.

But Iorfa insists the NFF will brainstorm for a few more weeks before naming a new manager.

"We have local coaches capable of doing better if given the platform and the sort of support that foreign coaches enjoy," he added.

"Names have been thrown around and we know what the people crave for and expect.

"Samson Siasia is one of those illustrious names and speculation linking him with the job is never going to go away and we're all aware of that, he continued.

Interestingly, Siasia will face stiff competition from his former teammates like Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh, Austin Eguavoen and Emmanuel Amuneke in the race to be the new coach.

Nigeria begins their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at home to Madagascar on 4 September.

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see also
NFF set to decide on Lagerback
20 Jul 10 |  African
Nigeria set to rebuild Eagles
14 Jul 10 |  African
Nigeria striker critical of coach
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nigeria appoint Lagerback as boss
27 Feb 10 |  African

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