Posted by News Express | 21 October 2014 | 3,112 times
Former Dutch super star Ruud Gullit has rejected a chance to coach Nigeria because of the Ebola disease and fears he could be kidnapped in the country.
Nigeria plan to hire a foreign coach immediately after the country’s two 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and South Africa next month, which will be handled by caretaker coach Shuaibu Amodu after Stephen Keshi was not given a new contract.
But one of Gullit’s representatives first told an AfricanFootball.com source he will not be interested in taking up the job because it is “high risk”, while listing out the outbreak of Ebola and security fears in Nigeria particularly as the country is gearing up to conduct a general election next year.
“Gullit is not interested in coaching Nigeria,” the source informed AfricanFootball.com soon after he had spoken to the ex-Dutch skipper’s agent.
“His agent told me the job is high risk. She spoke about Ebola and fears about terrorism in Nigeria and she said for those reasons, her client will not be keen.”
Yet another source confirmed these same fears and added that most top Dutch coaches who may now be approached may equally opt out because of the same reasons.
“The fear of Ebola in Nigeria is still very real even though the Nigerian government has announced it has successfully tackled the disease there,” this source disclosed, adding:
“Also, Gullit is a top personality and he told the person who spoke directly to him today (Monday) that he fears he may be kidnapped in Nigeria.
“What is clear is that these fears may not be only limited to Gullit. Most other top Dutch coaches will also stay away because of these should they be approached for the job.”
Nigeria’s most successful periods at full international levels where supervised by Dutch coaches Clemens Westerhof and Jo Bonfrere.
Westerhof led Nigeria to win a second Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and qualified the country to the World Cup for the very first time that same year.
His long-time assistant Bonfrere will then lead the country to win an historic Olympic gold in 1996 in Atlanta, United State of America.
Meanwhile, the expected Ethiopian deal for Stephen Keshi is no longer on the cards. The former Eagles coach declined comments on the reports linking him with the top coaching post in Ethiopia. “Ethiopia is a great country that’s all. No more comments.”
A very close source to Stephen Keshi further told AfricanFootball.com: “There is nothing with Ethiopia. Keshi just wants to rest right now. Let’s allow him rest for now abeg.”
Top Ethiopian journalist Taddeshp Mandefro with the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation also insisted the Ethiopian Football Association have not received any application from Keshi.
Keshi was reported to have opened talks with the EFA to take over the country’s team.
“I spoke with the EFA president Juneidin Basha yesterday (Sunday) on the report of Keshi taking over and he said the EFA have not received any application from Keshi for the EFA job,” Mandefro explained.
“Mariano Barreto remains the coach of the Ethiopian national team. Even though he is not doing too well right now, the EFA have not mentioned anything about sack.”
•Pieced together from separate stories in AfricanFootball.com. Photo shows Ruud Gullit.
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