CORRUPTION | Ex-English Manager Glenn Hoddle’s $1.5 Million Scandal Rocks NFF
This article was published by the UK Guardian on Thursday 18 March 2010.
Glenn Hoddle’s decision to walk away from a near-£1m contract to manage Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup has sparked a corruption investigation. Nigerian police are seeking statements from Hoddle and the agent who represented him, Olatunji John Shittu.
The police will also talk to Lars Lagerback, the former Sweden coach who took the job, and executives from the Nigeria Football Federation and the national sports commission.
Hoddle is believed to have claimed to the Nigerian state authorities that he came under pressure to arrange a bung for one of his new employers. Hoddle’s allegation is said to be that, having agreed a US$1m (£650,000) short-term deal last month, an official told him it would be announced as US$1.5m.
Hoddle, who has not responded to attempts by the Guardian to contact him on the matter, was informed he would have to return the £325,000 difference as a kickback.
The former England manager is said to have refused. Dr Bukola Saraki, a Nigerian state governor, says Hoddle approached him to report the incident before returning to the UK from Abuja. “When we met, Hoddle complained that he was asked to part with US$500,000 out of his US$1.5m [the contract fee to be paid] and that was the only way to do business in Nigeria,” Saraki said.
An investigation by the Presidential Task Force for the 2010 World Cup found no wrongdoing. But now, according to its spokesman Femi Babafemi, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has launched a formal inquiry.
Editor’s note: Till date, nothing has been heard of the EFCC inquiry. The NFF on Monday secured a bond of $1.5 million from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in a fresh bid to hire a foreign coach.
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