By ‘Ifreke Inyang
P.S: This is NOT a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are not the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is also NOT coincidental. They all exist.
Act 1 Scene 1. Enter Amaju Pinnick.
Suave-looking Delta indigene. Harbourer of big dreams. Talker of even bigger words.
This 42-year-old apparently won the NFF election in September 2014, to become the new president of the Glass House. Till this day, he is involved in a tussle with Chris Giwa.
But let’s not digress. That in itself, is another drama entirely.
Act 1 Scene 2. Enter Sunday Oliseh.
Another big talker. The former national team captain was already building a reputation as a fine pundit, when Pinnick asked him to take over the Super Eagles and proclaimed him as ‘the African Guardiola’.
His role literally last seven months. He resigned in February 2016.
Act 1 Scene 3. Enter Paul Le Guen, Salisu Yusuf and Tom Saintfiet.
So here’s what you probably missed from the last episode.
Salisu Yusuf was put in temporary charge of the Eagles and oversaw two victories against Mali and Luxembourg in friendly games. He impressed a few people and was touted to get the job on a permanent basis.
Eventually, the NFF announces a three-man shortlist for the job: Paul Le Guen, Yusuf and Tom Saintfiet.
Saintfiet simply pretended not to read the news and became the head coach of, wait for it now, Bangladesh!
Le Guen was heavily favoured to be given the post.
But wait. For that to happen, it means he was either offered the job or was interested in taking it. None of that ever happened.
According to BBC’s Shina Okeleji, “Apparently the Frenchman had a chat with Nigeria FA boss Pinnick & told the latter that he wasn’t interested in the job.
“Pinnick spoke with some pals of the Frenchman to convince him, but Le Guen refused. He was shocked to have been named Nigeria boss on Monday.
“Le Guen told @hpenot_lequipe he’d no idea he was being considered because it was NEVER discussed or agreed. Shocked NFF named him as Technical Adviser”.
Apparently, it was Le Guen or nobody for Pinnick. He was desperate to match his big talk with action.
So his name on that three-man shortlist, was a figment of Pinnick and NFF’s imagination. Comic.
And you wonder why Nigerian football is out of all sorts. It is not just about the players (or lack of). The leadership is a hot mess.
How do I know this? Pinnick tried to defend the whole situation, saying: “The NFF had never offered him the job. Le Guen was only a recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee. The recommendation was subject to agreement of the NFF Executive Committee.”
That statement, came barely 24 hours, after the NFF triumphantly announced the Frenchman as the new boss. Heck, we should have seen through the confusion, when they also named Yusuf as ‘Chief Coach’.
That is all for today, folks!
To be continued.
Teaser: Watch out for future episodes revolving around the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And by all means, pay attention to the unfolding saga involving Pinnick and Giwa.
‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke