Former Super Eagles head coach Clemens Westerhof has finally reacted to Bonfrere Jo’s accusation of selling the USA 1994 World Cup match against Italy.
FrujuSports had reported that Bonfrere Jo who was Westerhof’s assistant coach of the national team had accused his former boss of selling the match for a $100,000.
However, Westerhof have debunked the claims, saying his former assistant was lieing.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard, he said:
“No. That is not true, it is a lie. He wants to bring me, my name in Ningeria in bad light. He knows that the people in Nigeria like me. During the time I celebrated my birthday in Nigeria last year, all of them were there to celebrate with me.
“It is a lie. We lost by two goals by Roberto Baggio, the last one was a penalty kick. I will never do that, never, especially not to Nigeria.
“Nigeria is my second home country, I have a house there and, maybe, you never know, I can come back and stay there. It is a lie.”
Westerhof who is also Nigeria’s most successful foreign coach threatened to sue.
“It is a big lie, I will sue him for that. I will sue him. Ya ya ya ya! He can never go free for that. I will sue him. He cannot do this. I have never spoken ill of him here in the Dutch papers. He put it on radio in Nigeria. I will sue him.
“He will appear before a judge, then they will ask him questions and he will tell them the truth, which player told him I did that. I never did that. I will sue him.”
The Dutchman then went ahead to explain what happened at the match in which Nigeria lost 2-1 to Italy in the group stage.
“We played well. It was one nil for us. I could not field Keshi because he had a bad knee. I used the other libero [Chidi Nwanwu], who used to play in Belgium. He played behind the defence. Italy equalised. Then I told him if we have the ball then come in front, go to the midfield.
“Simone, the Italian left attacker bagged a red card and he went out. So we played against ten men. . With the expulsion of one Italian attacker, our defence had only two attackers to contend with. One of our defenders should have gone in front of the defence, in the midfield, so that Jay Jay Okocha could go and play in front, beside Amokachi. We played well.
“Sunday Oliseh played the ball through Roberto Baggio’s legs and made jokes with spectators, but Baggio got the ball back and made a cross to Mossi, Mossi went with the ball to the sideline and who was there, he found Baggio and he crossed the ball to him. He scored to bring the scoreline to 1-1. It was two minutes before the end of the game. It was terrible. You must concentrate to the last minute. It was a loss of concentration on the part of a player but I don’t like singling out a player when we lose. Football is a team game. We lost concentration in the last minute and paid for it.”
Asked if he would like to return as Super Eagles head coach, Westerhof replied in affirmative.
“Yeah. I will bring a young Dutch coach, I will do it together with him and Nigerian assistants, with Alloy Agu as goalkeepers trainer. Together we will do it and I want to win the World Cup. We will train and I will tell them what my plans are; how I want to do it. We will train three times a day. Six in the morning fitness, seven in the morning breakfast, ten in the morning first training and four in the evening second training. Everyday and at the end of 14 days, nobody can beat us.
“Things have changed from what obtained in your days with the team. Most Nigerian players now are based in Europe. How are you going to bring them together for that long like you did in 1994?
“We will see. I will talk with the President of the NFF and I will explain my plans on how I want to do it. If that does not go down well with them, I have a plan B on how I want to do it. I have the experience and I know I can do it. I know exactly what to do to get to the last four and then win that match and get to the final. I have seen and studied Brazil, I have seen and studied Germany, exactly how they do it. The Germans base all their tactics on discipline.
“I have seen and played Italy, Roberto Baggio is no more there, they have a new team, young new team which is not so good. Everybody will be with me one week before every match. Two weeks intensive training with the last days more of tactics could be enough. If we have three weeks you can sing Alleluia.”
Westerhof also opined that current national coach Gernot Rohr should do better as his record in the team is not good enough.