Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has mandated the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to furnish him with a report detailing the viability of employing a foreign technical adviser for the Super Eagles, including the source of his salary.
Dalung asked that the report should be ready and sent to him within four weeks.
NFF Board headed by Amaju Pinnick is inclined to hiring a foreign coach as the only way forward, following the Eagles failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon next year.
But addressing the press after the expanded meeting of the board yesterday that reviewed the AFCON debacle, Dalung asked the NFF to send to him a technical report in four weeks, detailing the specifics required in employing a foreign coach.
He also sought to know how the coach will be paid as government is not in a position to cushion the salary of the foreign manager.
“The report from the main actors should tell us what happened (during the failed AFCON 2017 qualifier) and the way forward. We must take our destiny into our own hands, but if we want to hire a foreign coach, the enabling sources of funds should be provided. NFF must tell us if they can afford to pay a foreign technical adviser. In the future, however, the rampant hiring and firing of coaches should be a thing of history in our football,’’ Dalung said.
Though NFF is funded by government which pays a monthly grant of N150 million, the subvention does not cover the salary of coaches which is raised from other means, including sponsorship fees and grants from international governing body, FIFA.
Yesterday’s meeting unanimously agreed that Nigeria came short in the qualifying campaign for the Africa Cup of Nations because of instability, lack of internal cohesion and the use of too many players by coaches Sunday Oliseh and Samson Siasia, who filled in the gap after Stephen Keshi, who guided Nigeria to victory at the AFCON in South Africa in 2013 was sacked.
Dalung similarly said that Nigeria should consider a strategic investment in grassroots sports as a way of identifying talent and plugging the architectural problem inherent in Nigeria’s sports development.
He said such plan should be designed in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education with government giving approval on funding of school sports.