Saintfiet Threatens To Drag NFF To FIFA
Posted: Jun 14, 2012
Belgian Tactician Unhappy With Sports Minister’s Sack Order
Tom Saintfiet, the Belgian whom the Nigeria Football Federation had reached agreement with to become the National Technical Director of football, has threatened to drag the Nigerian football ruling body to FIFA if they reneged on his appointment.
He spoke with RICHARD JIDEAKA .
What is your take on Eagles recent results against your former team, Namibia and Ethiopia?
Nigeria won 1-0 but I thought it should have been more.Though I did not watch any of those matches but I think it is good that Nigeria are top of the group after a win and a draw against Namibia and Malawi. It is not what we expect from Nigeria but they have not done badly considering that they are rebuilding. But goals are essential and it won’t have been bad scoring four or five goals.
When are you coming to Nigeria? What is delaying your coming to Nigeria?
I don’t know but it is in the media that your minister of sports is not in agreement with my appointment, so I don’t know what is happening over there, I wait for further communication about it.
You mean you are waiting for communication from the Nigeria Football Federation?
I am waiting to hear from them then I take a decision. But I am surprised the media heard this before me. I am surprised that it is the politician that is making the announcement not the federation boss and it is said that politics should not be involved in football. I am shocked by the news and I am not happy so I don’t know what will happen next. I know I have an agreement with the football federation and that is very important to know.
I have also done a lot of things for Nigerian football based on the fact that we would concretize that agreement and I have had to turn down a lot of offers because of that agreement and assurance that I got from the Nigerian federation and because I chose to work in Nigeria. I feel shocked, disappointed because I want to come to Nigeria to bring back to the people football of the 90’s. I would ignore the news that I read because it is coming from the sports minister until the NFF tells me I am no longer wanted.
If the NFF concurs with the minister’s pronouncement will you take it as a breach of agreement?
I will wait to know if the NFF will agree with the directive of the minister of sports or follow the agreement we had. There are laid down rules on how football should be run by FIFA and I want to be officially informed by the federation before I know what to do. I am being treated like this because I am perceived to be a foreigner but having spent many years in Africa, I think I am now a native and should be treated as one. I want to say I am very disappointed but I want to know the decision of the federation before taking my case to higher authorities for interpretation. I want to help Nigeria football grow and I hope that sooner or later I will get the opportunity to prove myself with Nigerian football.
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