Chairman of Edo Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu-Orumen has come hard on former Super Eagles coach, Bonfrere Johannes for alleging that his compatriot and former Eagles tactician, Clemens Westerhof sold the team’s 1994 World Cup match against Italy.
Reacting to the story which Bonfrere retracted for want of evidence, Dudu-Orumen who was Special Assistant to then Chairman, National Sports Commission, late Chief Sabastine Babatunde Williams wrote that “Jo Bonfrere was a jobless trainer (and) Clemens Westerhoff hired his services whenever the Super Eagles camped in Holland to prepare for major competitions.
Westerhoff paid him from his pocket because the “expenditure” was not in the budget of the NFA! The first of such occasions was the Super Eagles preparation for Senegal ’92 (AFCON). Bonfrere did his assignment and got paid and returned to his home. Westerhoff and Super Eagles went to Senegal and got Bronze medal, and the bronze was ‘good’ reason for NFA not to refund Westerhoff the money he paid Bonfrere.
Late Chief SB. Williams, former Chairman of the National Sports Commission refunded Westerhoff the money from his pocket.
After qualification for AFCON ’94 and World Cup ’94, it was time for the Eagles to return to its traditional campsite, Papendal. So it happened and Bonfrere got hired again. Fortunately this time the NFA saw the need for the services of Bonfrere and accordingly picked the bill.
Bonfrere this time went with the Eagles to AFCON ’94, but before then some Sports “businessmen “ posturing as Agents to Bonfrere had started using a section of the Sports media to sell Bonfrere as a replacement and a better candidate to lead the Eagles to AFCON ’94 and World Cup ’94.
The newly installed NFA Board inexplicably considered this crazy idea and nearly sacked Westerhoff! Chief Segun Odegbami MON, a Member of the Board then, saved the situation.
In private, he persuaded the Board Chairman, Samson Emeka Omeruah to get others to go back on their thoughts, having himself felt the pulse of the players and knowing they were not going to like the idea. Westerhoff’s job was saved and Super Eagles went on to win the Cup. In the matter of distributing the Winners medals, especially to officials, was where Bonfrere’s beef and everlasting grudge for his countryman who brought him to the Nigerian football scene began.
Westerhoff insisted and infact had the Nigerian Technical Assistants/Backroom staff given medals first and none was left for Bonfrere. Westerhoff’s reason was that the Nigerians had been with the team since 1990 and should not be denied medals. Instead Bonfrere who was new to the team got none. Since then Bonfrere has continued to malign Westerhoff unfortunately.
Bonfrere is no Coach. He is at best a good trainer. That’s why when the players Westerhoff began to put together in 1989 “expired” in 1997, Bonfrere who was incharge of the Eagles then couldn’t put together a strong team and got sacked. Bonfrere should stop his campaign of calumny against Westerhoff . Some of us know the whole truth.”