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We bear no grudges against Oliseh, says NFF


Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Sunday Oliseh, quit his job in the early hours of yesterday.

Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Sunday Oliseh, quit his job in the early hours of yesterday.

• Explains relationship with ex-coach

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that it bears no grudges against Sunday Oliseh who resigned as Super Eagles coach last Friday.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Sunday Oliseh RESIGNED and was not SACKED. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” the NFF said yesterday in a statement made available to The Guardian.

The federation also cleared a lot of falsehood that has been making the rounds following the resignation of Coach Oliseh.

“First of all, the NFF would like to state that contrary to what few members of the media would have Nigerians believe, the appointment of Mr. Sunday Oliseh as Head Coach of the Super Eagles was thoroughly thought-through; it went through a meeting between himself and the Technical Committee and was ultimately approved by the entire Executive Committee of the NFF.

“The NFF had the best of intentions in hiring Mr. Sunday Oliseh, and despite the misgivings about his temperament (he himself alluded to this at his unveiling) he was seen as a bright young Coach able to take the Super Eagles to new heights. This view was premised on his resume, (having played in various countries around the world), his undoubted football knowledge and his currency of ideas (being a respected former Super Eagles Captain and a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group).

“The fact that from Mr. Oliseh’s perspective, the relationship had gone so awry to the extent that he resigned his appointment is unfortunate because despite the temporary financial difficulties which crept into the relationship in the last 4 (four) months or thereabouts, the NFF Executive Board with its penchant for long-term planning took a long-term view of his appointment and remains confident that with a little more patience on the part of the Coach, things would have turned around for the better in the long run.

“NFF seizes the opportunity to apologise to Nigerians for the situation that we, through no fault of ours, find ourselves, but assures the teeming Super Eagles supporters that we shall patriotically remain committed to the success of the team. This is already evidenced by the swiftness with which we have reconstituted the coaching crew and received the assurances of the patriotism of the Super Eagles players who have vowed to fight for the Nigerian flag and spirit, and ensure that not only do we qualify for the African Nations Cup but also that our long-term goals are not derailed,” NFF stated.

The statement further said: “The NFF gives the foregoing assurances despite the circumstance which has arisen with the untimely resignation of Coach Sunday Oliseh and despite the fact that the decision was taken unilaterally without discussion with NFF or any of its officials or board members, without giving the requisite 1 (one) months notice as stipulated in his contract immediately after he was paid his arrears of salary and housing allowance after his request to travel across Europe to visit potential call-ups for the matches against Egypt was approved by the President of the NFF and; despite the fact that we have crucial qualifying matches to play next month

“With regard to the various allegations made against the NFF by Mr. Sunday Oliseh in his letter of resignation and in the media, the NFF as a responsible organisation feels the need to this once respond to those allegations as follows, and thereafter continue with the job at hand without any further distractions:

“Mr. Sunday Oliseh in his letter of resignation and in various reports has talked about not being respected, and not getting the support of the NFF. The NFF categorically denies these allegations and notes that from the time of his employment the NFF had always shown him respect which, unfortunately, not always reciprocated.

“In order to encourage him, to exhibit an intention to put the issue of financial disagreements with coaches behind the Federation and to help the new Coach quickly settle down, the NFF proceeded to pay him three months’ salary in advance – something that had never happened previously in Nigeria football.

“The NFF introduced him to our principal partners/sponsors in order to show that the Federation had total regard for and was fully supporting its coach. The President thereafter reiterated the vision of the NFF board and its mandate to the new coach to build a new and vibrant team that the Government and people of this country would be proud of. The NFF has since then allowed him to carry on his duties without interference. The NFF also purchased for Mr. Oliseh a brand new car to ease his movement locally whenever he was in Nigeria.

“With regard to the allegation that he was not supported, it is pertinent to note that Mr. Oliseh himself had on numerous occasions expressed gratitude for the support he had received from the NFF and in particular from the NFF President and Vice Presidents. The NFF makes bold to say that he has been supported throughout his short tenure as the Super Eagles coach. Not only have his requests and choice of training camps been accepted, his choice of players have never been interfered with, his choice of venues have all but once been accepted and even where not accepted, an explanation was promptly given which was duly appreciated and accepted by the coach.

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