The Federal Government may have foreclosed the possibility of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) hiring an expatriate coach for the Super Eagles for now. This is because the federal government ruled out the possibility of such exercise on the premise of the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy.
Solomon Dalung, Minister of Sports, who spoke after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, cited the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy as reason why appointing an expatriate coach for the Super Eagles was not feasible for now. Dalung explained that it was irrational for Nigeria to hire a foreign coach when the country was still indebted to some local coaches, some of whom were late.
“The selection of coaches usually is handled by our technical team; we are a supervising ministry so we have little to do with the process but we have a role in guiding what is best for Nigeria. “I have always maintained that we even cannot pay indigenous coaches; we still owe them some months of salaries and some of them have even died without those salaries.
“Do we still go and look for a foreign coach and will he (the foreign coach) be able to tolerate us without salaries for some time; more so that we may also be paying him in hard currency. “So it’s a fundamental contradiction to swallow easily. The minister also faulted the approach of the indigenous coaches to competitions, accusing them of being parochial in their team selections. “But then there is one aspect of these indigenous coaches that has been responsible for their poor performance which Nigerians need to know.
“They have not been able to grow above their parochial sentiment; an example is that a coach will train a team, the team will qualify to go to the next stage. Once the competition they qualify gets closer, they will now submit a different list of people not the new people who qualified. “This already has violated what is referred to as team spirit in football. A team that played is different from the one that is going (to the competition); we have that crisis on our hands now, especially with the list of those who are going to Rio.
“Those who qualified are fundamentally different from those that have been sent to go and play at the finals. “So some people are only good to go and qualify and create room for others to go; that is one of the problems with indigenous coaches,” Dalung said.