Yusuf to coach Nigeria after Le Guen backtrack
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria have confirmed the permanent appointment of caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf to the senior national team but have been forced into an embarrassing backtrack over their announcement of Frenchman Paul le Guen as technical advisor.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officially handed the position of head coach to Yusuf at their executive committee meeting on Wednesday, the organisation confirmed in a statement.
They have also asked their technical and development committee to come up with a recommendation for the post of technical advisor within seven days.
The NFF announced that former Paris St Germain and Rangers manager Le Guen would fill the role on Monday, subject to agreeing personal terms, but were left red-faced when the 52-year-old told French media the following day he had no intention of accepting their offer.
The NFF later released a statement in which they denied approving Le Guen for the role, saying his name had been put forward as a mere recommendation by the technical and development committee.
"The technical and development committee perused the profiles of all the coaches who submitted applications and find Mr. Paul Le Guen suitable for the post," a statement said.
"But during final negotiations, he objected to being given a target and also did not wish to live in Nigeria, which was a sore point with the board."
Yusuf had been in charge of the national team for Nigeria’s two friendly matches played in May, a 1-0 victory over Mali and a 3-1 success against Luxembourg.
The country has been searching for a permanent head coach since the resignation in February of former national team star Sunday Oliseh, who cited contract breaches and unpaid salaries for is decision to quit.
Nigeria’s next fixture is a dead-rubber African Nations Cup qualifier against Tanzania in September with both nations out of the running for the finals.
The country has also been drawn alongside Algeria, Zambia and Cameroon in the qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia that start in October.
(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)