Lagerbäck spurns chance to keep coaching Nigeria

Sweden's Lars Lagerback has turned down an offer to continue coaching the Nigerian football team, the national football federation (NFF) confirmed on Friday.

Lagerbäck spurns chance to keep coaching Nigeria
Photo: Segun Ogunfeyitimi/AP/Scanpix (file)

NFF president Aminu Maigari said that Lagerbäck told him he did not wish to

continue in his post despite being offered a four-year deal, with Samson Siasia being lined up as a replacement.

“Lagerbäck told me he could not continue as the coach of the Super Eagles

because he feared that he might not be able to pen a four-year deal that would keep him in Nigeria for that long,” Maigari told sports daily Soccer Star.

“He thanked the NFF for the opportunity given him to take the Eagles to the

World Cup. He said the experience was worth it and that he would always

remember Nigeria and her good people.”

Maigari added that Lagerbäck told him that his family played a big role in his decision not to extend his five-month contract. Lagerback was in charge when Nigeria finished bottom of their first round group at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

However, the NFF agreed to hand the Swede a long-term deal on the evidence of the work he put in within a short time. The NFF top official also disclosed that Siasia will next month be confirmed as the country’s new coach on a four-year contract.

“We have had talks with Siasia. The talks have been fruitful and all things being equal, he will put pen to paper next month subject to negotiations,” said Maigari. “Siasia is the coach Nigerians want and we shall give him all the support to succeed in this new job.”

Siasia led the national team to the final of both the 2005 FIFA Under-20 World Cup as well as the 2008 Olympics. The former Lokeren and Nantes striker is currently handling Heartland FC of Owerri in the CAF Champions League.

The NFF also announced that caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen will lead Nigeria to next month’s friendly against South Korea in Seoul before taking

over the Olympic team.

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Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.