Daily Independent Online.
Friday, October 10, 2003.
Suleiman explains choice of new Super Eagles coach
By Nnamdi Okosieme,
Daily Independent, Abuja
David Suleiman, chairman of the technical
committee that recommended Englishman Bryan Robson as new Super Eagles coach
has defended their decision.
Suleiman explained to Daily Independent via telephone the
reason the English clinched the much sought-after job. Suleiman, who is a member of the board
of the NFA and chairman of Niger Tornadoes Football Club, said the overriding
reason why the NFA picked the former coach of English premiership side,
Middlesborough was because a lot of Nigerian players play in England where
Robson comes from.
“ Robson comes from England where you
know majority of players play. It would thus be easier for him to handle the
boys and get along with them,” Suleiman stated.
Explaining why neither Pole Henry Kasperczak
nor Frenchman Bruno Metsu got the job as was widely expected, Suleiman said
both coaches have commitment from which they are unable to extricate
“ While Metsu has a commitment in
Qatar, Kasperczak is still committed to Polish club side Wislaw Krakow.
“We spoke to both their managers and
they told us it would not be possible for the two gentlemen to take up the
job,” he said. He said his committee also seriously considered former
French international Alain Giresse, but was knocked out by the language
Suleiman, who refused to disclose details
of the contract with the Englishman, said the NFA was still waiting for approval from the sports minister
before making everything public. Suleiman however volunteered that Robson has
signed a three-year contract with the NFA.
Englishman would however be on a six-month probation after which if the NFA
finds his performance satisfactory, the remaining two and half years would be
executed. “If after the
first six months the NFA is not satisfied, particularly if we do not do well at the Nations Cup,
then the contract may be terminated. On the other hand, the coach himself can
opt out if in those six months he is not satisfied with the working
conditions,” he stated.