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EXCLUSIVE | NFF vice-president: Foreign coach not our priority

Shehu Dikko
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) vice-president Shehu Dikko discussed the NFF plans and strategies for the head coach position and spoke about the Super Eagles’ priorities ahead of their upcoming clash against Egypt.

Dikko spoke about Samson Siasia’s chances to remain as the Super Eagles’ head coach after Egypt clash. He revealed that their decision regarding Siasia’s future with the national team wouldn’t depend solely on the result of the Pharaohs encounter.

“His present position is not like an exam for him as we all know his quality and indeed shortcomings as no human is perfect and we can manage that anyway, thus the results of the two games he has been giving won’t be the only yardstick to determine the next steps we will take regarding his possible future as the substantive Super Eagles head coach,” Dikko told KingFut.

“Rather the biggest determinant would be his readiness to situate his project for the Super Eagles within the NFF overall objectives of returning the Supers Eagles to their enviable position as the best in Africa and indeed the world by building a team that will be feared by all and be winning trophies sustainably and playing the entertaining football we are all known for,” he explained.

The NFF vice president also praised Siasia, who led the U-23 side to qualify for the Rio Olympics, saying the 48-year-old coach has an eye for spotting talent.

“He has qualified for the Olympics with a lot of exciting players discovered including the goal scorer against Egypt in Kaduna and in fact just defeated Brazil U23 in a friendly game with several new players involved,” he said.

Dikko also discussed the possibility of hiring a foreign coach to take over the Nigerian team, while explaining the NFF’s plan to turn the fans’ focus to the domestic game instead of the foreign football.

“It’s certainly not a priority and indeed the new national orientation campaign in Nigeria is to look in house and use made in Nigeria on everything except where it’s extremely necessary then we look foreign. This is the only way to rebuild the country and indeed football cannot be an exception.

“In our Nigeria football industry now the campaign is hugely focusing on getting the fans and corporate bodies to turn their hearts and pockets towards supporting the domestic game instead of foreign football which has gradually taking over the football space in Nigeria to the detriment of the domestic game,” Dikko explained.

The NFF vice president refused to reveal any information regarding applicants or candidates for the head coach position. He also stressed their satisfaction with Siasia’s performance so far.

“Nigeria is a great footballing nations with huge potentials thus it always attracts interest globally and once we have any opening for national team coach we do always receive unsolicited interest from top coaches globally.

“We will take decision after evaluating all the factors but for now we have coach Samson Siasia and we are very much happy with what we have seen so far and we are giving him all the backing he required to succeed,” he added.

Dikko however asserted that winning their match against Egypt on Tuesday remains their top priority at the moment.

“For now our priority is to get our target four points from the 2 games with Egypt and take control of the group and we see what happen from there but certainly coach Samson has a head start against any other coach regarding the Super Eagles coach substantive appointment,” he added.

READ | NFF vice-president: Egypt is of no match to Nigeria

The Pharaohs will host the Super Eagles in Alexandria on Tuesday in a game that will determine who’ll lead Group G and qualify to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. On Friday, Egypt managed to clinch a draw in the away leg in Kaduna to remain on the top of the group on four points, two clear of second-placed Nigeria.

Operations and Business Development Manager of KingFut. Degree in Pharmacy and Biotechnology from the German University in Cairo. Manchester United fan.

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