Egyptian coach awaits Nigeria offer

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The Independent Football

Hassan Shehata can coach Nigeria at the World Cup if he wishes, according to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).

The Egyptian national coach, one of several names linked to the vacant position, last week ruled himself out of the running, citing the unwillingness of his employers to release him on a short-term basis.

The 60-year-old was on a preferred list of candidates drawn up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the dismissal of Shaibu Amodu.

Six other coaches are amongst those targeted by the African country, including Russia boss Guus Hiddink, reportedly the No 1 target, and Bayern Munich boss Louis van Gaal, who has already stated his non-interest. Both were initially considered the forerunners.

Former England bosses Sven Goran Eriksson and Peter Taylor also made the shortlist.

However, a member of the EFA has now confirmed Shehata would be allowed to lead Nigeria to South Africa if a firm offer was received.

"The FA's general assembly gave Shehata the thumbs-up to coach Nigeria during the World Cup should a tangible offer be made," Salah Hosni, an EFA executive, explained yesterday.

Shehata's stock rose further last month after guiding Egypt to a third successive African Nations Cup title, although they missed out on qualification for this summer's World Cup.

Hosni added: "The FA's president Samir Zaher is assigned contact the NFF and follow up on this issue."

Nigeria are pooled in Group B for the World Cup, alongside Argentina, Greece and South Korea. A new coach is expected to be announced before the end of February.