NFF Confirms Advanced Negotiations With Sunday Oliseh

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed it is in advanced talks with former Nigeria international, Sunday Oliseh, over the vacant managerial position of the senior men’s national team.

The federation sacked Stephen Keshi as head coach of the three-time African champions at the weekend over breaches of terms of his two-year contract.

The NFF Technical and Development committee moved swiftly in search for Keshi’s successor and has proposed former Super Eagles captain Oliseh as a suitable replacement for Keshi.

The BBC Sport first broke the report on Tuesday and the football federation has now confirmed that the 40-year-old met with NFF president Amaju Pinnick in London.

“An offer has been made, and there is understanding, but we have to work out the final details of the agreement in a few days. Of course, the Executive Board has to give approval for his appointment based on the final terms to be agreed,” said Felix Anyansi-Agwu, chairman of the NFF Technical and Development committee.

SUNDAY OLISEH & FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER
SUNDAY OLISEH & FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER

There are indications that Oliseh will take on the job in the company of a foreign technical assistant. The assistant will be saddled with the responsibility of enhancing football development programmes in the country.

Current caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf will be part of the new technical team, though expected to serve as an intermediary between domestic players in the Team B and the technical crew.

According to the NFF, Oliseh is expected to design a five-year developmental blueprint towards building a unique playing and coaching philosophy for all the National Teams, and will for this purpose, interfare regularly with coaches of those teams.

Pinnick said: “Sunday Oliseh has vast experience and immense knowledge of the game, and will certainly add value to what we are doing. He has bought into our vision and objectives towards the development of Nigeria football. He will command the respect of the players and we trust he has the temperament to work harmoniously with the Technical and Development Committee, the Technical Directorate and the Technical Study Group.

“On our part at the NFF, we will give him all the support to succeed as we have been giving to all our coaches. Subject to the approval of the NFF Executive Committee, we will conclude negotiations by weekend and he will be unveiled next week.”

Oliseh was part of the squad that won a second Afcon title for Nigeria in 1994 and an Olympic gold two years later.

He also featured in two World Cup finals, including the 1998 edition in France, where he scored a memorable winner as Nigeria stunned Spain 3-2 in a group game.

He has been working as a pundit, sport consultant and Fifa Technical committee member, but has relatively little experience as a manager with his only coaching job till date coming at Belgian lower league side Vervietois between 2008 and 2009. Oliseh has however enhanced his resume with the acquisition of the Uefa Pro Licence.

Oliseh played for Reggiana, FC Cologne, Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, VFL Bochum and RC Genk in a magnificent professional career, during which he played under some of the best coaches in the universe.

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Amaju Pinnick, NFF, Sunday Oliseh

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