Nigeria‘s appointment of French Coach Paul Le Guen who reportedly turned down a mouth-watering offer to guide the Super Eagles, is a national disgrace as well as a warning to Africa’s most populous country. A large number of football lovers have been irritated over the disappointment, not for the Frenchman’s arrogance, but for the seeming lack of appreciation for indigenous coaches.
Image: French Coach Paul Le Guen who reportedly turned down a mouth-watering offer to guide the Super Eagles
Records show the 52-year-old tactician played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain (won 17 caps for France), before grabbing an offer to coach Rennes, PSG, Lyon, and Glasgow Rangers.
The Frenchman, without any doubts, has an attractive profile, having qualified the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon for the FIFA World Cup finals in 2010. He is said to have also had a stint with Oman.
However, Nigeria have produced coaches who can compete favorably with the world’s best coaches, if granted the support and respect we heap on foreign coaches.
This case can be likened to the biblical proverb: “A PROPHET IS NOT RESPECTED OR ACCEPTED IN HIS OWN HOME.”
It is heart-breaking knowing that the NFF Technical Committee granted Paul Le Guen an appointment on Monday as the Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles pending approval from the body’s Executive committee, only for the country to be disgraced by the former PSG coach.
The pain gets too much to bear for the fact that news of his rejection was relayed by a French journalist from Paul’s hometown named Herve Penot.
Penot [a writer with L’Equipe] is quoted as confirming that Nigeria’s new coach had rejected the offer due to some complicated issues with the NFF.
He wrote on his Twitter page: “Paul le Guen will not go to Nigeria. Conditions not met to be coach. Nothing to do with the selection today.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported that “one of the knotty issues Le Guen failed to agree on with the NFF was that he would prefer to operate from France while the NFF wants him permanently stationed in Nigeria”.
Another reason cited in a different report says the foreign coach rejected Nigeria’s coaching offer because he was “required to accept back-up staff made up of indigenous coaches in addition to being given a target”.
Image: Salisu Yusuf [Super Eagles coach].
According to a media report, one outstanding reason why NFF disapproved of Mr. Le Guen is because the coach proposed that he’ll only accept the job if he’s granted the powers to appoint two foreign personal assistants of his choice.
In the committee’s evaluation, accepting the condition will make a waste of indigenous Nigerian coaches and as such, both parties couldn’t reach a satisfactory agreement.
The rejected contract handed to this unappeasable and haughty Frenchman had stated that he will be assisted by Nigerian Salisu Yusuf, who has been appointed Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Wednesday 20.
Super Eagles of Nigeria have been with a nominal coach since Sunday Oliseh exited the team though Salisu had functioned on acting capacity. He will now lead the team until NFF finds a better option.
The Chris Green led technical committee was reported to have recommended Bitrus Bewarang as technical director and Nduka Ugbade as Goden Eaglets assistant coach at the Executive Meeting held in Abuja Wednesday 20.