Former Super Eagles coach, Shaibu Amodu
By Olawale Ajimotokan
Former Super Eagles coaches, Monday Sinclair and Shaibu Amodu, are the leading candidates to be considered as the Technical Director of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Though NFF had initially appointed Tom Saintfiet to head the sensitive post and was waiting to seal a $20,000 (about N3million) contract with the Belgian, the deal was snapped by Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, who firmly insisted that the slot must be given to an indigenous coach.
With the Saintfiet saga now put behind, the onus will now be on the NFF Technical Committee, headed by Chris Green, to embark on the search for a local coach as proposed by Abdulahi and duly make a recommendation to the board.
But news emerging out of the NFF ‘Glasshouse’ revealed that both Sinclair and Amodu are highly regarded by the committee which will endorse one of them for the position.
Abdulahi had at a monthly meeting held on Monday, objected to the Saintfiet deal and had ordered NFF Chairman Aminu Maigaria and Secretary General Musa Amadu, to end the process of hiring a foreign technical director.
Sinclair had briefly coached the Super Eagles in 1997 until the arrival of Frenchman Philippe Troussier, while Amodu had on five different occasions - from 1994 to 2010- handled the national team during which he had the singular honour of successfully leading Nigeria through two World Cup campaigns.
Those in the know told us that apart from the rich experience of Amodu and Sinclair, their prospect for consideration is further boosted by their current position as NFF technical instructors.
Saintfiet was expected to resume in Nigeria last month before the deal was stalled following his inability to be granted work permit by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Just before the NFF board on March 28 agreed to hire Saintfeit as recommended by the technical committee, Amodu and Sinclair voiced opposition to the move as they felt they were better qualified than the Belgian for the job.
In what then looked like pitching his credentials, Amodu had lampooned the move by the board as “ill advised and borne out of inferiority complex”.
“The desire to give that position to a ‘white man’ is a mistake we have always done in the past. We always show respect for a white man. It is a generic problem borne out of inferiority complex,” he fumed.
In the same vain, he noted that it was too sensitive to entrust the technical department of Nigerian football in the hand of a foreigner, a sentiment which Abdulahi appeared to have shared at the meeting he had with Maigari and Musa Amadu.