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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

NFF chief explains Amodu sacking

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport

Shaibu Amodu
Shaibu Amodu was sacked because of public pressure in Nigeria

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said coach Shaibu Amodu was sacked because of public pressure for a foreign manager.

He was ditched despite the team qualifying for the World Cup and making the semi-finals of the Nations Cup.

Several big names from overseas, including Guus Hiddink and Hassan Shehata have been linked with the job.

"We are sensitive to the demands of passionate Nigerians," Sani Lulu Abdullahi told BBC Sport.

"They have called for the appointment of a manager who will drive the team to play professionally and with discipline as the World Cup finals approach."

It is the second time Amodu has been axed from his position as national coach after leading the team to World Cup qualification.

His tactics and leadership were severely criticised in Nigeria during the recent Nations Cup in Angola and he has paid the price for that pressure.

"I must admit that the leadership of the football federation is open to constructive analyses of our football, I really do," Lulu said.

"Football is the pride of the nation, we just hope the fans and everyone concerned will give the team and officials the needed support.

"Importantly, the technical committee now have a short-list of coaches not only capable but [who will] hopefully turn things around for the team."

Bayern Munich coach Louis Van Gaal has already ruled himself out of the job but Guus Hiddink, Bruno Metsu, Hassan Shehata, Peter Taylor and Ratomir Dujkovic are all on the NFF's wishlist.

Nigeria are in Group B at South Africa 2010, alongside Argentina, Greece and South Korea.

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see also
Shehata enters Nigeria coaching race
07 Feb 10 |  African
Nigeria part company with Amodu
06 Feb 10 |  African
Nigeria 1-0 Algeria
30 Jan 10 |  African
Ghana 1-0 Nigeria
28 Jan 10 |  African
Okocha wants administrative role
04 Feb 10 |  African

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