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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 19:06 GMT
Nigeria stall Robson plan
Bryan Robson
Robson has not managed a club since Middlesbrough

Nigeria have shelved plans to appoint former England captain Bryan Robson as their new manager after a cash wrangle.

Sports Minister Musa Mohammed insisted he would not rubber-stamp Robson as the Super Eagles' supremo unless private sponsorship could pay his reported 30,000 a month salary.

He said: "They (the NFA) could not convince me that they can pay the US$50,000 a month they promised Mr. Robson.

"They told me a private telecommunications company ... has offered to pay but when I asked for any document to back that up, they could not produce any."

And NFA spokesman Samuel Kaalu said: "Yes, the minister has said no to the coming of Robson but there cannot be any official reaction to his directives now because the board meeting (of the NFA) is still going on as I speak to you."

Mohammed revealed his decision was influenced by the fact that Nigeria struggled to pay the salary of its last foreign manager, Dutchman Jo Bonfrere, who was sacked in 2001 after a string of poor results in qualifying matches for the 2002 World Cup.

He said: "I don't want what happened to ... Bonfere Jo to happen to Mr. Robson. They need to convince me that Mr.Robson's salary will be paid to him as when due without any hitch."

Robson had been expected to arrive in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, on Monday to sign a six-month contract but the former Middlesbrough coach said he is yet to make any firm travelling plans.

"I have no idea when I will be in Nigeria," Robson told the BBC Sport website on Tuesday.

I am in no position to make any plans
Bryan Robson

"I have been waiting for a definite word from the Nigerian FA but they have not been in touch with me to tell me what's happening.

"Until I hear from them, I am in no position to make any plans on when I will go to Nigeria," Robson said.

The 46-year-old coach, who was reported to be keen on managing English first division side Crystal Palace, said he has no other offers to consider apart from the Nigeria job.

"The issue of whether I am open to other approaches is hypothetical, as no one has made a firm offer to me," Robson said.

The delay in confirming Robson's appointment as Nigeria manager continues to cause anxiety amongst Nigerian fans, with less than three months to the start of the Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

Training plans for the team have not been finalised, as the Nigerian FA said they would be done in conjunction with the new manager.

Nigeria, who won their last African title in Tunisia (at the 1994 finals), are placed in the tournament's 'group of death' alongside former champions South Africa, Morocco and debutants Benin.

Robson uncertain for Nigeria
04 Nov 03  |  African
Robson prepares for Nigeria job
29 Oct 03  |  African

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