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Page last updated at 07:35 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Nigeria part company with coach Shaibu Amodu

Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu
Amodu is out of work despite taking Nigeria to the semi-finals in Angola

Nigeria have sacked coach Shaibu Amodu despite the team's third-place finish at this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

It is the second time the 51-year-old has been removed from his post ahead of a World Cup finals tournament.

The decision was taken after a late-night meeting of the Nigerian Football Federation in Abuja.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink, currently Russia's coach, is among those on a shortlist of preferred candidates to replace Amodu.

Earlier this week, Egypt coach Hassan Shehata claimed he had been approached by Nigeria to lead them at the World Cup later this year, while Zambia boss Herve Renard says he has been approached by several other African teams.

Amodu was in his fourth stint as national coach, having also managed Nigeria from 1994-95, 1998-99 and 2001-02.

He was also fired ahead of the 2002 World Cup finals after Nigeria again finished third at the African Nations Cup.

He returned to the role in 2008 having ended a spell as manager of Nigerian Premier League side Sharks FC three years earlier.

The Super Eagles boss was under intense pressure going into the African Cup of Nations in Angola, with calls from several quarters for him to be fired.

Despite guiding Nigeria to the semi-finals the team's style of play, his tactics and key decision-making were all questioned during the tournament.

The Super Eagles lost 1-0 to Ghana in the final four but beat Algeria by the same scoreline to secure third place.

The NFF must now move swiftly to recruit a new coach with the World Cup finals in South Africa just over four months away.

Nigeria are in Group B along with Argentina, Greece and South Korea, with their opening match against the Argentines on 12 June in Johannesburg.

NFF media officer Ademola Olajire said: "The technical committee of the federation has been mandated to have a new man in place by the end of the month."

Other names in the frame are thought to include former England caretaker manager Peter Taylor, Bruno Metsu, who coached Senegal to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals, and Ratomir Dujkovic, Ghana's coach at the last World Cup in Germany.

Amodu, meanwhile, has been given the task of overseeing Nigeria's home-based players for the new African Nations Champions tournament, a competition for players who play their club football in Africa.

Olajire added: "He will be in charge of talent identification and finding players for the future."

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see also
Renard 'courted' by other teams
03 Feb 10 |  African
Shehata reveals Nigeria approach
01 Feb 10 |  African
Amodu will not talk about future
29 Jan 10 |  African
Ghana 1-0 Nigeria
28 Jan 10 |  African
Pressure on Amodu continues
28 Dec 09 |  African
Hiddink set for new Russia deal
18 Dec 09 |  Man City
Lulu backs under-fire Amodu
18 Nov 09 |  African
Nigeria league chief slams Amodu
03 Oct 09 |  African

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