Ex-International Jonathan Akpoborie: Nigeria Turned Down Lothar Matthaus As Coach


The former Nigeria international striker has revealed  that the Nigeria Football Federation NFF turned a chance to hire the former Germany skipper as coach of the national team.

Ex-Nigeria international striker, Jonathan Akpoborie, has disclosed  that top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation NFF rejected a proposal to engage former Germany skipper, Lothar Matthaus, as coach in December.

“I spoke to Matthaus about the Nigeria job in December and he was very excited about such an opportunity. And that was when I contacted some top officials of the NFF. But rather than consider Matthaus, they preferred to treat him like a leper,” said the former Wolfsburg striker, who is a now a players’ agent.

Matthaus was named World Player of the Year in 1990 after he captained Germany to win that year’s World Cup.

After a distinguished playing career, he took up coaching, working with such clubs like Rapid Vienna, Partizan Belgrade and Red Bull Salzburg. He also handled the national team of Hungary.

Akpoborie said he offered Matthaus to the NFF because he is convinced that no Nigerian coach is capable of leading the country’s team to full international glory.

“My worst fears are now becoming real. Shuaibu Amodu has clearly shown he does not have what it takes to qualify us for the World Cup. We need a foreign coach to do that,” Akpoborie argued.

There are strong indications that Amodu will be spared the bullet despite Nigeria’s precarious standing in the qualification race to next year’s World Cup. The Eagles are two points behind group leaders Tunisia with only the overall winner of the group qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

Top officials have argued that the embattled coach stay on because the Super Eagles could still qualify for the World Cup, should Tunisia slip up in any of their two remaining matches.


~ by footballdirecta on September 8, 2009.

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