Sports Minister Intervenes in Dennerby’s Threat to Quit Falcons Job

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* Dare: Will seek a quick resolution to ensure he continues to coach Nigeria

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has intervened in the threat by Super Falcons Manager, Thomas Dennerby to quit the Nigerian job.

Dare wants the Swede to continue to coach the Nigerian ladies, with a promise to look into the problems faced by the gaffer.

In his 18-month in charge of the Falcons, the 60-year-old former Sweden coach led Nigeria to win the 2019 WAFU Women’s Cup in Cote d’Ivoire as well as lifted the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana. Dennerby also steered the team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout stage for the first time in 20 years in France earlier this summer.

The coach is believed to have resorted to this threat of quitting the job due to inability of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretariat to meet up with his demand for a permanent residence in Nigeria as well as proper travel logistics to support his going round the country to monitor league matches.

But in a swift move after it was reported in the local media yesterday that Dennerby was on the verge of dumping the job, the Sports Minister got in touch with the NFF leadership on how to solve the problems.

Dare announced on his Twitter handle on the social media early yesterday morning that Dennerby was going nowhere.

“I have personally stepped into the matter of Thomas Dennerby, the Coach of Super Falcons. I received a brief this morning and will proceed to seek a quick resolution to ensure he continues to Coach Nigeria’s female team,” the minister announced on his official (@SundayDareSD on Monday morning.

Before the minister’s intervention yesterday, the NFF had drafted the Under-20 women’s team coach, Christopher Danjuma, to lead the Super Falcons in a stop-gap role ahead of the team’s third round of the African Women’s Olympic qualifiers against Cote d’Ivoire later this month. The team’s camp opened in Abuja yesterday morning.

Falcons defeated Algeria 3-0 aggregate in the early round fixture in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifying series.

Inside sources at NFF’s Glass House in Abuja had confided in THISDAY at the weekend that Dennerby made his intention not to return to Nigeria known since last week.

“I learnt last week that he said he was not coming again. I can’t say what he has added to the team or new players he discovered. I think the federation is just overpaying these foreign coaches,” observed the informed source.

Dennerby who led Sweden to finish third at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Nigeria in January 2018.