Tom Saintfiet has more or less ruled himself out of the running to become the next Nigeria coach, after he started work with the Bangladeshi national side, fcnaija.com can confirm.
The 43-year old was shortlisted as one of the candidates to become the Super Eagles substantive coach along with Salisu Yusuf and Paul Le Guen, but he has now taken up the Bangladeshi job, according to reports in the South Asian country.
Fcnaija.com had broken the news of the interest in Saintfiet by the Bangladesh Football Federation despite being shortlisted by the NFF, and the Belgian had told this website that he hadn’t signed a contract and would wait on a decision from the NFF.
“Yes, I am here, they (Bangladesh) want me and they made a good offer but I did not sign anything yet,” Saintfiet had told fcnaija.com.
Reports in Bangladesh are however now suggesting he has begun work with their national side, with a picture of him in training with players of the Bangladeshi national team.
“I saw exactly what you saw. As a coach, I was without a job for the last two months. I sent my CV to different federations all over the world and Nigeria were one of them. On Friday, I saw I was in the shortlist but I don’t have proper information about it (regarding interview with NFF),” Saintfiet was quoted by the Dhaka Tribune.
“The first focus is on two (AFC Asian Cup qualifying playoff) matches against Bhutan in September and October. When the matches are finished, hopefully with the qualification, we will work together in future. First focus is on three months and to try to get good results.”
The NFF will hold an interview session with the shortlisted coaches on Monday the 18th, but it remains to be seen if Saintfiet will be a part of it, as fcnaija.com can also confirm that he has not been invited to the interview.