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20 July 2016

Nigeria appoint Paul Le Guen as head coach

Paul LegeanFrenchman Paul Le Guen has been appointed to lead Nigeria in their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, the country’s soccer federation said in a statement on Monday.

Le Guen, who has the official title of technical advisor, will be assisted by Nigerian Salisu Yusuf as chief coach. The appointments are subject to the pair agreeing personal terms.

The much-travelled 52-year-old Le Guen, who played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain and won 17 caps for France, led Cameroon to the 2010 World Cup finals.

He has coached club sides Stade Rennes, Olympique Lyonnais – who he led to three Ligue 1 titles between 2002 and 2005 – PSG and Scottish club Rangers as well as Oman’s national team.

Yusuf, capped at under-20 level by Nigeria, was in charge of his country on an interim basis for two international friendly matches in Europe at the end of May, which the Super Eagles won.

Le Guen’s first major challenge is a World Cup qualifier away to Zambia on October 3 in a tough Group B which includes Africa’s top-ranked side Algeria and Cameroon who, along with Nigeria, also went to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Nigeria have a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in September but they have already failed for the second successive time to reach the finals with the three-times African champions now a lowly 70th in the FIFA world rankings.

Former manager Sunday Oliseh resigned in February accusing Nigeria of contract violations and failing to pay his wages with the former World Cup player having only taken the job in July.

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