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Toppmoller Considering Offer To Coach Nigeria
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Nigeria want Bayer's boss (Allsport)
05/02/2002. Bayer Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmoller has confirmed that he is considering an offer from Nigeria to take charge of the Super Eagles for this summers World Cup.

The African nation have confirmed they are looking at appointing foreign coaches to work alongside present boss Festus Onigbinde for the World Cup finals, even though Onigbinde is against the idea.

Nigeria appointed Bora Milutinovic just weeks before the 1998 World Cup, although the move didn't pay off, however the Nigeria FA look set to give the idea another go.

Toppmoller confirmed: "Yes, it's true, I have been approached. I will certainly speak to representatives of the Nigerian FA again.

"It would be tough because I have to prepare my club for the Champions' League final, but I haven't booked my holidays yet."

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Bayer block Nigeria bid for Klaus

Thursday 2nd May 2002

Bayer Leverkusen chief Reiner Calmund has blocked a cheeky move by Nigeria to borrow coach Klaus Toppmoller for the World Cup.

"I spoke with him about the offer and we joked around that it would be something for his holidays, but he really needs a break after such a demanding season.

"That's why we have told him to follow the Nigerians closely, but only on TV - not as their coach," said Calmund.

Toppmoller earlier revealed that he was considering the offer. "Yes, it's true. I have been approached," he said. "I will certainly speak to representatives of the Nigerian FA again.

"It would be tough because I have to prepare my club for the Champions' League final, but I haven't booked my holidays yet," the 50-year-old added.

The secretary-general of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA), Yaiwo Ogunjobi, confirmed that two foreign advisors would be appointed to assist incumbent Festus Onigbinde at Nigeria's friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on May 16, a decision that has prompted fury from Onigbinde.

Ogunjobi, though, is adamant that Nigeria will do things his way. "The honourable Minister of Sport has given his approval to the plan to strengthen the team with foreign coaches," he said. "Onigbinde has no power to dictate who he will work with."

Onigbinde, who has launched a major overhaul of the squad, dropping captain Sunday Oliseh and vice-captain Finidi George, has bluntly rejected the proposal.

"The minister told me that certain Nigerians were offering to recruit and pay foreign trainers to assist us, but since I asked these Nigerians to furnish me with the credentials of these trainers, I've not had no reply," he raged. "And at this time it's not feasible to have them with us."

Toppmoller is the second high-profile European coach to be offered a post by the NFA. They also approached Boavista boss Jaime Pacheco in March.

Four years ago, Bora Milutinovic, now coach of China, took charge of Nigeria weeks before the final with disastrous consequences as the Super Eagles were thrashed 4-1 by Denmark in the second round.

Several Nigeria players - Jay-Jay Okocha and Julius Aghaowa among them - have asked the Nigerian FA not to repeat the error.

Toppmoller has worked wonders since taking charge of Leverkusen at the beginning of the season, leading them to the Champions' League final and the German Cup final.

Leverkusen led the Bundesliga until last Saturday, when a shock defeat to Nuremberg saw Borussia Dortmund take over at the top with one game remaining.

Nevertheless, victory over Hertha Berlin on Saturday would hand them their first Bundesliga title, should Dortmund fail to take maximum points at home to Werder Bremen.

Onigbinde, the former schoolteacher who took Nigeria to the African Nations final in 1984, replaced Shaibu Amodou as Nigeria coach in February after the Super Eagles' African Nations Cup semi-final defeat to Senegal.

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Of course he denounced it. who can prepare a WC-squad with only 1 month to go. I fear Nigeria will humiliate themselves if they on this moment want to find a coach that has no experience with African teams.
 

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I think it's ridiculous if Nigeria should take Toppmoller. The problem with European coaches in Africa is that they are there mostly for the money. Onigbinde has finally made some changes to the squad by dropping some players and I think that is good and I hope he will get his chance to show at the WC what he's really worth.
 
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