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Nijja agree Oliseh to succeed Keshi

OLISEH-BAFANA

Nigeria’s Sunday Oliseh (R) waves to crowd on February 10, 2000, after their semi-final match against South Africa during the Africa Cup of Nations. PHOTO/AFP

ABUJA, July 9- Nigeria on Wedesday confirmed they have an agreement with former skipper Sunday Oliseh to replace Stephen Keshi as Super Eagles coach.

The Nigeria Football Federation sacked Keshi on Sunday saying he lacked “the required commitment” following a row over whether he applied for the vacant Ivory Coast manager’s job.

The NFF said on Wednesday it had an “understanding” with Oliseh to take over the side and revealed that the federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick, met the 40-year-old in London on Tuesday.

“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,” said Felix Anyansi-Agwu, chairman of the NFF technical and development committee.

“Of course, the executive board has to give approval for his appointment based on the final terms to be agreed.”

Oliseh is expected to come up with a five-year developmental plan to fashion a unique playing and coaching philosophy for all the national teams.

To do so, he will have to liaise with coaches of all national sides.

Pinnick described Oliseh as having “vast experience and immense knowledge of the game” who would help develop the federation’s aims.

“He has bought into our vision and objectives towards the development of Nigeria football,” he added.

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“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.”

Talks with Oliseh, who is currently a FIFA-approved coach and runs a training consultancy, are expected to finish by the weekend before a formal unveiling next week, Pinnick added.

Oliseh was in the Nigeria squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994 and played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup finals, when the Super Eagles reached the Round of 16.

He was also in the Nigeria under-23 side that won Africa’s first Olympic football gold in Atlanta 19 years ago.

The defensive midfielder played for Liege, Reggiana, FC Cologne, Ajax, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, VFL Bochum and RC Genk in his professional career.

He also coached Belgian lower division club Vervietois between 2008 and 2009.

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