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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 14:21 GMT
Nigeria close in on foreign coach
By Farayi Mungazi

Berti Vogts
Vogts is a former coach of Germany and Scotland
Nigeria are a step closer to having a new head coach in place for their next African Nations Cup assignment against Uganda in seven weeks' time.

Sani Lulu, the chairman of the Nigeria Football Association, has confirmed to BBC Sport that he is on course to recommend 'the right man to NFA stakeholders' next week.

Lulu and several NFA officials are in London conducting interviews for what is arguably the hottest seat in Nigerian sport, currently occupied by Austin Eguavoen.

Several names have been touted as potential candidates to take charge of the Super Eagles, but former Germany and Scotland coach Berti Vogts has emerged as the front-runner.

After leading Germany to the 1996 European Championship title, the 61-year-old Vogts then saw his reputation damaged by an unsuccessful stint as Scotland coach.

The much-travelled Frenchman Philippe Troussier also met with the NFA entourage on Wednesday but is not considered a serious contender for the job.

When pressed to reveal a name, Lulu said: "We're looking for someone with a lot of experience, someone who is well established in the world of football.

"He must also be a globally recognised name who can chart a new course for Nigerian football."

There is a school of thought that Eguavoen should continue in the role but Lulu told BBC Sport that appointing a technical supremo is the way forward for the Super Eagles.

He said the new coach will be expected to help set up and develop a youth structure and identify the next wave of international players.

"We have the raw talent, so we want someone who has the ability to package that talent and deliver results at the 2008 Nations Cup and the World Cup two years later.

"Although we're really not concerned about previous coaching experience in Africa, the man we want must have a very good knowledge of all our players in Europe."

Have Your Say: What do you think? Is the NFA right to look for a foreign coach? And who would you like to see in charge of Nigeria? (This debate is closed.)

Nigerian adminstrators, like their counterparts in Africa, are confused. They think foreign coaches bring results and are tailor-made for success. What Nigeria needs most is good organisation so why not have foreign adminstrators instead. I have no problem with foreign coaches, but with the current structure in Nigeria, even bringing Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho will not help Nigeria go anywhere.
Simba Manhuwa, UK

The NFA is right to look for a foreign coach. Eguavon should learn from the new man or go to junior teams. I think Vogts should be the man.
Duru Paschal, Nigeria

I believe that what we need now is a foreign technical coach in the class of Louis Van Gaal - someone with the ability to impact our Super Eagles.
Ihechukwu Ibeji, Nigeria

Berti Vogts has what it takes to push Nigerian football to the top, where it should be, but only if officials give him a free hand to do the job.
Richard Elvis Chuku, Togo

The employment of a coach with international pedigree is long overdue. In the last decade, we have watched beloved Super Eagles consistently under-perform in major competitions. The NFA chose instead to play politics with important decisions and fight each other because of their over-bloated egos. I believe the country can afford any coach in the world today. However, I implore Lulu and his team to put aside personal interests this time and go for someone with the right credentials. Left to me, I would go for Arsene Wenger.
Alex Amadi, UK

I strongly feel that it is a waste of taxpayers money because we have been down this road before. I am quite satified with Austin Eguavoen and he surely deserves encouragement and more time. The NFA is not financially competent to pay a foreign technical adviser because they still depend on the government.
Omeiza Okomayin, Nigeria

Nigeria, like other African countries, is moving backwards instead of forward. I find it shameful that Eguavoen is being thrown out from his coaching position for no concrete reason. Africans have talent and it is better to use them instead of going for foreigners. Africans need to grow up. I need an African to head the coaching team.
Austine Arrey, Canada

The NFA is right to look for a foreign coach. Eguavoen has done very well but he lacks the pedigree to take Nigerian football to the next level. Nigeria is a diverse country and the diversity brings in a lot of influence on the coach; this influence will not have any effect on a foreign coach as his only objective is football and will leave when his time is up. Eguavoen is a Nigerian and has a lot of odds against him while managing the Nigerian team. My hope is that the new manager will be allowed and supported to do his job.
Zayyana Abba Abdullahi, Nigeria

The real problem with the NFA is not finding a good couch but keeping one. When they finally find one, are they going to owe him months of unpaid salary? It is not about changing coaches like people change their underwear but giving the coach the required tools and freedom to do his work without interference. Also, the problem in Nigeria is not lack of talent but poor administration. In addition to a new coach, the NFA needs some kind of reform.

Nigeria to seek foreign coach
31 Aug 06 |  African


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