In a remarkable twist, the Nigerian Football Association is no longer planning to hire Byran Robson(former Middlesborough manager) to coach the national team. Robson was 'named' as the manager a couple of weeks ago after months of speculation, but the appointment was never fully confirmed. Globacom, Nigeria's latest cellular phone company, had allegedly agreed to pay Robson's salary of $50,000 (US) a month. But today, the Sports minister has decided that Nigeria cannot afford to pay Mr. Robson such an exorbitant salary, and Christian Chukwu will now lead the team to the 2004 Nations CUp early next year. Bryan Robson, who is apparently also trying to fill in the vacant 'hot-seat' at Crystal Palace, has now announced that he is no longer interested in the Nigeria job, just a week after he denied that he was abadoning Nigeria for Crystal Palace.
The question is, can Chukwu lead us to Nations Cup victory? I really don't think so. With all the problems he has had with the 'star' European based players in the past, being able to secure their services in Jan./Feb. when most European countries are at the height of their football seasons will be difficult to say the least. Then comes the question of technical competence. Brazil's victory over Nigeria in Abuja showed how inept Chukwu is as a tactitian.
So what happens now? Only time will tell.