NFF Names Saintfiet Next Week; As Technical Director


There are strong indications that Belgian Tom Saintfiet will be named as the new Technical Director of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, after the meeting of the board next week.


Saintfiet was at the Glass House yesterday, where he met with NFF’s Technical Committee. The former Technical Adviser of the Ethiopian national team is top favourite for the job as he is the only man short-listed for the position.


Saintfiet said his knowledge of African football and the top quality of the game in Nigerian are the factors that propelled him to apply for the job.


The Belgian, who will clock 38 years on 29 March, played football between 1983-1997, became a football manager in Belgium at the age of 24 to make the record as the youngest coach in Belgium then. He said he has not been given the job yet but is keen to work in Nigeria, emphasising that the country is a strong African football nation that many coaches will be glad to work with.


“I am interested working in Nigeria otherwise I will not be here. For me, Nigeria is a top country in Africa and it will be an honour working in this beautiful country. But at the moment, I am not yet appointed so I can’t tell you anything more.” Saintfiet said.

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“I know quite a lot about Nigerian football, the strength of the players in Africa and in Nigeria. I have been following African football for many years, particularly Nigerian football and I know a lot about the uniqueness of the Nigerian players,” he added.


Although a European, he said that having lived in Africa for so many years, he would not have any problem settling down in Nigeria, unlike other foreign tacticians who may be shuttling between Nigeria and Europe, adding that he is passionate about working in Nigeria.


The former coach of Zimbabwe also informed that he was not aware if he remains the sole candidate for the job, but he had a fruitful discussion with the technical committee of the Nigeria and from all indications during the meeting, the NFF has good plans for the development of the game in the country.


—Francis Achi/Abuja

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