The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will today name Frenchman Paul Le Guen as the Head Coach of the country’s senior national football team, the Super Eagles.
A dependable source close to the Federation told our correspondent that the former coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon has been picked ahead of Nigeria’s Salisu Yusuf and Belgian Tom Saintfiet by the recruitment panel based on his credentials and track record.
Our source said the panelists were impressed that besides qualifying an African side for the World Cup, Le Guen also has vast knowledge of European football which would benefit the country during the World Cup proper.
However, a statement from the NFF yesterday said the Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation will meet in Abuja today to interview three persons shortlisted for the Super Eagles’ Head Coach position and thereafter forward the name of the successful candidate to the NFF Board.
According to the statement, Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, told thenff.com yesterday that: “We have concluded arrangements for the interview process to take place at the NFF secretariat on Monday and thereafter, we will forward the name of the successful candidate to the NFF Board, which will deliberate on it and thereafter make their decision public.”
Green made it clear the committee will only settle for the candidate they see as most qualified and capable of qualifying the Super Eagles for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
He named the candidates as Nigerian Salisu Yusuf (54), Belgian Tom Saintfiet (43) and Frenchman Paul Le Guen (52) are the candidates in the running.
Saintfiet coached the National Teams of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Yemen, Malawi and Togo, and also worked with the Qatar U-17 side, Young Africans FC of Tanzania and Free State Stars FC in South Africa.
Yusuf was capped by Nigeria at U-20 level, won FA Cup titles with El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri as a player and coached top clubs Kano Pillars, El-Kanemi Warriors and Enyimba FC. He assisted Super Eagles’ head coaches Samson Siasia and Stephen Keshi (of blessed memory), and was caretaker coach for two friendlies that the Eagles won against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe at the end of May.
Le Guen, 52, played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain and won 17 caps for France, before coaching Rennes, Lyon, PSG (in France) and Glasgow Rangers (in Scotland). He qualified the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals and also coached Oman.