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El-Rufai received death threats, says aide

LogoDaily 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 themselves.

“ 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 problem.

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.

The 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.



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