FORMER manager of England, Sven-Goran Eriksson, will be the most high profile attendee of Nigeria’s coaching interview set for next week in the country’s capital, Abuja.
The Swede, whose last international job was with Mexico, was not on the original shortlist that Nigeria announced, but he sent in his application to be considered for the job and is now expected to be one of those to be interviewed for the post.
Sources at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) told KickOffNigeria.com that Eriksson’s camp has requested for advice on suitable accommodation in Nigeria and would be expected in the country on Thursday. Also, sources close to the Lazio former coach say he is “very keen” on taking on the Nigerian job.
Others expected in Abuja are former coach of Senegal, Bruno Metsu, Ghana’s former coach, Ratomir Djukovic, and Lars Lagerback, who resigned from his Sweden position after failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Italian Ariggo Sacchi and Englishman Glenn Hoddle have become the latest names to be associated with the Nigerian coaching job, though the Italian has made it clear that he would not be coming to Abuja to attend a scheduled interview.
Following rejection by Giovanni Trappatoni, Sacchi was contacted and he agreed to have his name put forward for consideration for the post, but insisted that discussions would hold in Bologna rather than Abuja.
A three-man team of top Nigerian football officials are expected to leave the United Kingdom at the weekend and be in Italy next week to speak to the AC Milan former legendary manager, who master-minded Italy’s march to the World Cup Final in 1994. Sacchi’s last job was as Real Madrid’s Director of Football between 2004 and 2005, but his representatives say his period of inaction was out of personal choice, not for want of suitable offers.
England’s Hoddle was added to the shortlist by Nigerian officials during the course of last week’s trip to England, where they met with Bruno Metsu, Ratomir Djukovic and Lars Lagerback. Hoddle flew into London from Spain, where he owns and runs the Glenn Hoddle Academy. His presentation is said to have impressed the Nigeria officials, particularly the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Patrick Ekeji.
Prior to leaving for London, Ekeji was said to have tongue-lashed the NFF officials at the lack of a genuine world class name left in their shortlist, and after listening to Hoddle, appears to be strongly in favour of having him take charge of the Super Eagles both for the short and long term. It is also understood that Hoddle is not making outrageous financial demands, which also sits well with Ekeji.
A final shortlist of three will be submitted to the NFF board and vetted by the Ministry of Sports, which would be partly responsible for the new man’s wages, before the new coach is named this Sunday.
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