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Saintfiet appointment, uproar in Nigeria


Remember Tom Saintfiet?
The Belgian has resurfaced in Nigeria as technical director of the national association after penning a four-year contract worth $20 000 a month.

But this has not gone down well with some Super Eagles fans, who believe the 38-year-old has achieved nothing in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, where he recently coached.

Saintfiet arrived in Zimbabwe in 2010 for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and worked without a work permit before he was deported to Botswana, leaving the Zifa board heavily divided. Nigeria Football Federation executive committee member, Emeka Inyama signed the communiqué confirming Saintfiet’s appointment, according to reports from Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper. As part of his brief, he will oversee all the country’s teams. A Nigerian assistant for Saintfeit will subsequently be appointed, officials said.

Former Flying Eagles and Green Eagles star Paul Okoku said he foresaw a conflict in the duties of Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi and Saintfiet.
“Do we need a technical director? I would say no.
I don’t remember Nigeria ever having one. So why now?” the United States-based ex-player said in Lagos on Wednesday, talking to the Punch.

“If the technical director’s job is to advise coaches, what happens if the coaches carry out his instructions and the team fails? Who would be held responsible?

“We cannot totally dismiss a well-intentioned plan, but there have to be a defined role. Is the new technical director going to be involved in player selection? Will he tell the coach to change players during a game? If that is his role, then Keshi’s position is undermined. Is the issue of imposing players on the coach not part of the problems we are having today?”

Fans were also not happy at all about Saintfiet. Here are some of their comments:
“Complete nonsense! From Namibia to Ethiopia, now Nigeria. The idiots that made the appointment should be fired. I’d say Tom Sainfiet has agreed to split his salary right down the middle with those that have appointed him.

“What happens to Keshi? Could this be why he was so angry while speaking on the phone at the MMA on Tuesday night? I think one of the major problems for football in Nigeria is the very disorganised team administering football . . .”

Sizzla Sizzla (Jr)
“The embarrassing rot in our sports is largely a factor of greed, quest for immediate gain and a lack of foresight. The mindset must change if we seriously desire a visible change in our sports.

“Neo-colonialism at its best. Oliseh can do better. When will we start promoting our own Vince?” Shonam

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