Former England managers Sven-Goran Eriksson and Glenn Hoddle are on a five-man shortlist to be the new coach of Nigeria, a spokesman for the national federation has confirmed.
Hoddle managed England at the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, where they reached the last 16 before being knocked out on penalties by Argentina, who are Nigeria's first opponents at the 2010 World Cup. Eriksson led England at the 2002 and 2006 finals and was most recently employed as director of football at Notts County.
The clear big attraction at this present moment is the World Cup, but also, if it went beyond that, there is the attraction of a country that has a population of almost 150 million and has hundreds of thousands of young players.
A spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation said: "We have five candidates, and Glenn Hoddle is one of them. He took his turn (for interview) yesterday and we will make a decision tomorrow evening."
Decision coming soon?
The spokesman insisted the circumstances of Hoddle's dismissal from the England job did not concern the NFF. Hoddle was sacked after comments he made about disabled people in a newspaper interview. "Coaches are hired and fired at any time, it depends from one field to another, one society to another. We cannot judge people's competence against different professional environments," he said. "He took England to the World Cup round of 16 in 1998 and he was a very good player."
The Nigeria FA also confirmed Eriksson among the names of the four other candidates. The other names in contention are thought to be former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback, Ex-Senegal boss Bruno Metsu and former Ghana coach Ratomir Dujkovic.
Eriksson's representative Athole Still confirmed that the Swede had met with the NFF today, and that they plan to stay in Nigeria until Saturday morning. "Sven met with the federation today. It was a general discussion rather than an interview I would say. We will see what happens."
Still said the NFF have not discussed the terms they are prepared to offer to the new coach, so it is unclear whether they are just looking for someone to lead the team in South Africa or for a more long-term appointment. Eriksson, who coached Mexico during the qualifying stages of the 2010 World Cup, would relish a third crack at the World Cup after reaching the quarter-finals twice with England.
"The clear big attraction at this present moment is the World Cup, but also, if it went beyond that, there is the attraction of a country that has a population of almost 150 million and has hundreds of thousands of young players," added Still.
The decision of the NFF board is expected to be announced by the end of the weekend. The Super Eagles have been without a coach since Shaibu Amodu was sacked following the team's third-placed finish at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.