BY JOE APU
TWENTY-two years after leading the Super Eagles of Nigeria to her first World Cup in USA’94, former technical adviser, Clemens Westerhof has indicated interest in returning to Nigeria to revive the team.
With talks of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF ready to hire a foreigner to prosecute the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier after Nigeria failed to qualify for the AFCON 2017 championship after her loss to Egypt.
According to impeccable NFF sources the Dutchman who had never hidden his desire to make a comeback to Nigeria had been in constant touch with egg heads of the Nigeria federation to actualise his dream.
“There’re coaches that have indicated their interest to manage the Super Eagles and Clemens Westerhof is one of them. We’ve been in talks with a good number of them,” our source revealed.
However, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick who was shocked by the sudden resignation of Sunday Oliseh just weeks to Nigeria’s back-to-back encounter against Egypt had proposed the hiring of a foreign manager stressing that the country cannot afford to toy with the World Cup qualification.
“I cannot put our World Cup hopes on a local coach. We need a world class coach who can reshape our football,” Pinnick said.
“That is why I cannot compromise my decision for a foreign coach. Egypt has so many professionals abroad, but Cuper used only five and he still went ahead to get the desired result. That is why I am insisting on a foreigner for the Eagles.”
In a statement after the Eagles crash, the NFF said like most Nigerians, they were saddened by the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final competition, following a 1-0 defeat by seven –time African champions Egypt in Alexandria on Tuesday, 29th March 2016.
“We see this failure to qualify as an unfortunate turn of events, because it came despite the undoubted efforts of the Coaching crew led by Coach Samson Siasia and the players led by the captain, Mikel Obi, and the efforts of the NFF leadership who not only supported the technical crew but also provided necessary support regarding comfortable traveling arrangement and accommodation for the team’s home and away matches.