Egypt coach Hassan Shehata has withdrawn from the race to lead Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ after he was denied permission by his employers to fill the role on a short-term basis.
The 60-year-old was on a preferred list of candidates drawn up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the dismissal of Shaibu Amodu last Friday. Five other coaches are also amongst those targeted by the African nation, with a special technical committee having already convened to narrow down that number to three.
I received many offers but the Egyptian Football Association closed the door on them and announced that I will continue until the end of my contract.
Russia boss Guus Hiddink is reportedly the number one target and is joined by current Bayern Munich boss Louis van Gaal. Also targeted are Englishman Peter Taylor, ex-Ghana coach Ratomir Dujkovic and Qatar chief Bruno Metsu.
However, Shehata has now joined Van Gaal in declaring his non-interest, which comes after the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) pulled the plug on the move. "My contract with the Egypt national team continues until the end of 2012," Shehata, who led the Pharaohs to a third consecutive CAF Africa Cup of Nations title last month, said. "I received many offers but the Egyptian Football Association closed the door on them and announced that I will continue until the end of my contract."
Shehata had initially said he would be interested in a short-term role, after claiming to be approached by Nigerian officials towards then end of the continental showpiece in Angola. The Super Eagles are pooled in Group B for the FIFA World Cup alongside Argentina, Greece and Korea Republic. A new coach is expected to be announced before the end of February.