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Nigeria to seek foreign coach, must pay Eguavoen
Reuters in Lagos
Nigeria will seek a foreign coach for its national football team, but first it must pay nine months' salary owing to the present incumbent, the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) said on Tuesday.
Austin Eguavoen took over as coach of the Super Eagles last year, but has spent most of his tenure unpaid and unsure of his job amid a feud between the sports ministry and the NFA.
He took the team to third place in the African Nations Cup in Egypt in February, but they failed to qualify for this year's World Cup in Germany.
On Saturday, Nigeria beat Niger 2-0 in their first match of the qualifying round for the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana.
"The Minister of Sports has directed that a foreign coach should be sought," said NFA spokesman Robinson Okosun.
Eguavoen, who heard about the directive just before Saturday's match, said: "We are here today; we've not been paid for nine months and nobody is talking about it, but instead the country is talking about a foreign coach."
"This is our country. We are trying to salvage the situation and we haven't made noise about it, and some people are still not satisfied. It's a pity. We don't get encouraged in this way. Our salary is poor yet we are owed upward of nine months."
Okosun said the ministry and the NFA were now working better together since the head of the NFA was replaced last month, and that Eguavoen's salary would now be paid.
"We didn't have a board for nine months, but now the problems are over and we expect to move ahead," Okosun said.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”