After a pomp announcement of the appointment of Paul Le Guen as technical adviser on its website and Twitter page on Tuesday, the Nigeria Football Federation has backtracked saying it never said the French had the job.
French website, lequipe.fr, carried the news of Le Guen’s appointment but in a twist, categorically referred to an unnamed source who said Le Guen had declined the offer.
“Only one problem: Le Guen has declined two days ago the offer to engage with Nigeria … The Federation may have sought a way out,” they stated in French.
At this time, the NFF had already tweeted: “Paul Le Guen is new Eagles Tech. Adviser” while adding a link to their website which has a story about the French coach taking up the job.
The tweet and article have both been deleted, but later on Tuesday, another article on its website carried the headline: “NFF: We never said Le Guen had Super Eagles’ job”.
The article rather blamed the media for publishing “preposterous” reports.
It said: “The Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, has dismissed reports in local and international media of the Frenchman’s rejection of the position as simply preposterous.”
“The press statement was clear, to the effect that all appointments made at the Technical and Development Committee meeting were mere recommendations, which had to be deliberated upon and agreed to by the Board,” it added.
The NFF Executive Committee however explained on Wednesday the reasons behind Le Guen’s rejection of the job in a communique published on its website.
“It noted that the refusal of Mr. Paul Le Guen, earlier recommended by the Sub –Committee, to accept to be given targets as well as unwillingness to live in Nigeria, made his candidature unacceptable to the Board. Committee also disapproved of Mr. Le Guen’s desire to come to the job with two assistants, which would make Nigerian coaches redundant,” it stated.
On the issue of the false information, the communique only said: “The Committee noted that it was the desire to show transparency that made the Technical and Development Sub–Committee to make public its recommendation in the first place.”
In seven days, the NFF is expected to recommend another technical adviser for the Super Eagles as instructed by the Executive Committee in its communique.
For now, Salisu Yusuf is the “Chief Coach” of the Super Eagles, assisted by Imama Amapakabo as well as Alloy Agu who is the goalkeeper’s trainer.