Saintfiet rues missing out on Super Eagles Job, Fingers NFF Hierarchy in Scuppered Deal


The Gambia head Coach, Tom Saintfiet says he still regrets not getting the Super Eagles seven years ago, alleging tampering in the process.

Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet alleged that former NFF President, Amaju Pinnick vetoed his potential appointment as Super Eagles coach, although he had been recommended as choice candidate by the Technical Committee.


The NFF’s Technical Committee considered Tom Saintfiet and French coach Paul Le Guen as potential successors to Sunday Oliseh after he left in 2016.

However, Le Guen declined the offer, so the NFF chose Gernot Rohr, who was not initially shortlisted for the position, according to Saintfiet.


Tom Saintfiet claims Pinnick hand picked Gernot Rohr, truncating a legitimate process that would have seen him emerge Super Eagles Coach.
Pinnick and former Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr.

“Yes, in 2012 first of all, the minister of sports decided he wanted a local coach, when I was already announced as the new technical adviser chosen by the technical committee at that time, which had (Austin) Okocha, Garba Lawal and Christopher Green.

“Again in 2016, I was close to the job, I was to get the job with the local coach Salisu Yusuf, but they chose Paul Le Guen for the job, but he refused it.

“I considered myself as the second or third choice, but it was Amaju Pinnick who didn’t follow the technical committee’s decision and went for Gernot Rohr, who was not shortlisted; it was a big disappointment,” the Belgian recalls.

“Then I went to Bangladesh and got a lucrative offer for a short term, but the ambition was always there to coach Nigeria and guide them to a successful AFCON, and also guide them to World Cup success.”

The members of the Technical Committee at that time, according to the source, dismissed Saintfeit’s claims.

He stated that the Committee only carried out a screening exercise for the coaches who applied, and the outcome was submitted to the NFF.


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