Nigeria can't eat at coaching top table

When it comes to picking a new coach Nigeria are no longer dining at the top table, but rather are eating out at McDonalds and KFC and it's all their own fault says Africansportonline's Tunde Coker.

I'm not saying I don't like a little fast food but with some things you just need Michelin star quality and when you look at the applicants for the Nigerian job there is a marked absence of star quality.

Most Nigeria fans won't have heard of Otto Gloria. Why would they? When he was coach the Super Eagles were still the Green Eagles, but when you examine his pedigree and then look at the applicants for the current Super Eagle vacancy you can see how far the stock of the Nigerian job has fallen.

The handling of the appointment of the new Super Eagles coach is indicative of the paucity of quality in Nigeria's football administrators.

It's hard to think of a bigger job in Africa than coach of the Super Eagles. The most populous country on the continent, the biggest resources in terms of players. 

Others have won more African Cup of Nations, but Olympic success and regular World Cup qualification have helped gild the honours board.

The aforementioned Gloria was the first to bring continental glory to Nigeria with the 1980 African Cup of Nations. The Brazilian had previously taken Benfica to the European Cup final and Portugal to third place in the 1966 World Cup. 

Outstanding pedigree, matched over the last 20 odd years with the likes of Bora Milutinovic, Berti Vogts and Lars Lagerback.

When Lagerback was appointed in 2010 he was up against Glen Hoddle. Hoddle said he was asked to pay a $500,000 kickback once he got the job.

The shortlist for the current vacancy is Paul Le Guen, Salim Yusuf and Tom Saintfiet. Among the unlucky candidates were Giovanni Solinas, Hey Antoine, Mark Wotte, Yusuf, Ernesto Paulo Calvinho, Dorian Marin, Miodrag Jesic, Perry Hansen, Ove Pedersen, Adebayo Lateef Kola, Sylvanus Okpala, Peter Ijeh, Vladimir Petrovic-Pizon, Lodewijk de Kruif, Kenichi Yatsuhashi, Bjorn Frank Peters and Ricki Herbert.

Exactly as this pundit feared.

The years of infighting, board interference and payment difficulties have seen a pool of candidates limited to a host of unknowns or those who know just what the score is when working for an employer with the reputation of the Nigeria Football Federation.

When Sunday Oliseh quit earlier in the year there was still time for a substantive appointment to be made  in time for the friendlies preceding the World Cup qualifiers. Now the new coach walks into the job with little time to experiment and a qualification group of death.

The board also missed out on the likes of Herve Renard and Claude Le Roy.

The  Super Eagles have slid to 70th in the latest FIFA rankings and face the toughest of World Cup qualifying draws having been ranked with Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.

Rehabilitation for Nigeria starts not on the pitch but with good governance off it. In recent times no NFF board has been able to get themselves re-elected. Only with stability can the right manager be found to make the Eagles super again.

Tunde Coker

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