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Amodu reveals how Lulu stopped his resignation

Twenty four hours after Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, coach Amodu Shuaibu was at the National Stadium, Abuja to watch the final of the Fifa U_17 World Cup which Nigeria lost to Switzerland. There, he told his Nairobi story;


“I have suffered humiliation on this job. I have suffered many attacks. I have been subjected to all manner of hardship. The job is a thankless one. When you get result, you are attacked. When you don’t have result, the attack never ceases. I have gone through such a mental torture that I felt I was losing my senses. It was so bad that after we won and qualified for the World Cup, I felt I should resign that night in Kenya. Yes, I wanted to resign and confided in someone who went to tell Lulu {the President of the football federation}.

Lulu asked me if it was true. I confirmed it but he strongly said he would not accept such a thing and I must not chiken out now. We held a brief meeting and he bluntly told me never to do so. He supported me when they wanted to sack me. He stood by me and we battled together until we achieved this result. It was not an easy battle. We battled against many forces, physical and spiritual.

We battled physical forces on the pitch while playing opponents and spiritual forces outside. Things have happened but we had faith in God. Lulu was going through a lot, too. There were those who wanted the team to fail so that it would be easy to vote out his board.

There were also those who didn’t want us to continue as the coaches. Forces here and there, so many of them. In the midst of it, one they are continuously vilifying me. That’s why I wanted to resign after our match in Kenya.

I felt the attack was taking a great toll on one. I earn one tent of what Nigeria pays foreign coaches but they still subject me to greater hardship, without allowances that could help me sort out many problems related to the job.

The whole thing has been frustrating. You are preparing for a match and at the same time they are talking of foreign coach. I’m not against anybody bringing in foreign coaches but the one doing the job at they are talking of foreign coach deserves some concentration. Your paper has been critical and you accused me of not injecting new blood into the team. But I brought in Eneramo, Ajilore, Echiejeli, Shittu, Adefemi, Ayodele and some others. But you keep on talking about rejuvenating the team.

The attacks have been weighty. Berti Vogts was here and I’m not sure that he was doing better. Let any foreign coach come and work under the same conditions and let’s see if such a person will survive here. But I agreed to stay on because Lulu backed me and after qualification he made me see reason why I should stay on. It has not been easy for me.

At a time, I was losing my head and I think the way I reacted to some people in a few cases made me believe there were times I momentarily lost my head. The changes people are clamouring for have been going on but if people mean total displacement of the entire team, it will not be possible. It has to be gradual. That is my position.”Nigeria beat Kenya 3-2 while rivals Tunisia lost 1-0 to  Mozambique last Sunday. The results earned Nigeria World Cup qualification


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