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It was difficult but also easy — Seyi Olofinjana on rejecting NFF Technical Director job

Seyi Olofinjana, former Super Eagles midfielder, has spoken on why he turned down the country’s national team technical director role after he was approached by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

The former Super Eagles star went into management after a 16-year professional career and was appointed loan manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

At the Molineux Stadium, he played a key role in maintaining the Wanderers’ English top-flight status.

In a BBC Sport Africa interview, the 40-year-old opened up on why he turned down the offer but left room for future promotion.

This is according to reports that Amaju Pinnick approached Olofinjana in 2020 about the role currently held by Austin Eguavoen, who he declined.

“It was difficult, but at the same time, easy,” Olofinjana recalled.

“I think the federation made it a little bit easier for me to make that judgement call. There were certain questions I asked of the federation that they weren’t able to answer.

“What needs doing? Where do they think we are as a nation? Where do we need to get to? How quickly do we need to get to those places?

“I didn’t get answers to those questions and that is the day-to-day job for me. If there’s no clarity, there’s no going forward.

“Do I regret saying no? Absolutely not. Is there a part of me that thinks it could be a good opportunity for me to go and put myself in the history books and try to help my people? Absolutely! I’m still looking for that opportunity

“I’ll continue to knock on the door. Any day. I don’t know the day. I’m Nigerian. I can’t change that.”

Olofinjana however, called for a change in attitude from the players as Nigeria prepare to compete for their fourth Africa Cup of Nations title.

He said, “The talents have never been the problem of Nigeria. I think it (the problem) is in the philosophy, it’s in the structure.

“I think we are living in the moment as a people. We think ‘What can we do in the next Nations Cup?’ without thinking further ahead.”

“We tell ourselves ‘Oh, we’ve prepared well. The boys have done well but there has to be a plan behind the way we play football,” Olofinjana added.

“Germany won the World Cup (in 2014) but they didn’t win it when they hosted in 2006. But there was a plan – a 10-year plan to win the World Cup.”

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