Minister directs NFF to dump Saintfiet
Saintfiet - to be or not to be?
The minister made the call at a meeting with the leadership of the NFF in his office in Abuja Tuesday.
Abdullahi argued that "since the NFF are having difficulties in securing a work permit for the Belgian coach and considering the importance of the national technical director position; I think you should forget about having the Belgian and look in wards for a competent hand to do the Job.
Special assistant (media) to the sports minister Julius Ogunro further said in a statement that Abdullahi maintained the decision was necessary as there are many competent Nigerians who have knowledge of grassroots football in the country and are better suited for the role of a technical director, whose main function is to identify and groom local talents.
The NFF appointed former Namibia and Ethiopia coach Saintfiet on a four-year deal on a monthly salary of 20,000 US dollars, but he has yet to resume work since that appointment.
The minister also apologised for his inability to make the Eagles last two World Cup qualifier, assuring that he would be in Calabar Saturday to cheer the team to victory against Rwanda in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie.
"I must apologise for not being able to make the Eagles game both in Calabar and Malawi. The NFF President had appealed to me to be there as a morale booster for the team but I could not make it. In any case I promise to be in Calabar to cheer the Eagles against Rwanda," he said.
Abdullahi was last month appointed substantive sports minister after months of playing a supervisory role.