‘Stomach upset’ halts Saintfiet signing

Bangladesh national football team’s Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet has apparently backed out from signing his formal agreement with the Bangladesh Football Federation in order to explore his possibilities of taking the charge of Nigeria national team. Saintfiet was scheduled to sign the agreement on Wednesday but the BFF had to postpone the event abruptly as the coach informed that he has upset his stomach.
The development came amid reports that Saintfiet has the chance of joining the Nigerian Football Federation as the technical advisor of country’s national team having earlier made the short-list of their head coach.
South Africa based sports website SuperSport on Saturday reported that Saintfiet ‘has put up his hand saying he is the man for the job’ of Super Eagles’ technical advisor after Frenchman Paul Le Guen turned down the offer.
Saintfiet rejected the claim and said he is still looking forward to work with the Bangladesh national team and can sign the agreement ‘anytime soon’.
He said that SuperSport spoke to him at least 15 days ago and published his interview only this week though he is not currently linked with the Nigerian job.
‘I don’t know exactly when I [will] sign the agreement,’ said the 43-year-old coach.
‘That is not important because I am doing the job. You could have signed the coach, who are not in job but I am in job that proved I am here to work with Bangladesh.
‘I am here for working. I am working, doing training, watching matches. So I am committed to Bangladesh. We have a verbal agreement between the president [Kazi Salahuddin] and me, which is most important. Signing paper is not important’
He reiterated that he didn’t get any formal offer from Nigeria.
‘If Real Madrid or Argentina calls me, I will consider them but at the moment, I don’t have any offer from any federations and clubs except Bangladesh. I am happy to be here.’
The Belgian also rejected the rumour of joining the Nigeria Football Federation.
‘I gave an interview a few weeks ago. I think we discussed the Nigerian topic one or two weeks ago,’ said Saintfiet, who seemed very positive after watching six matches of the first round of BPL.
‘I watched six matches in last three days and preparing to watch another six matches in the coming three days and that shows my commitment to prepare a strong team for the Bhutan match because my goal is to qualify for the Asian Cup Qualifiers.’
Saintfiet added that he will fly for Belgium on Sunday for a couple of week holiday to visit his pregnant wife.
‘As I told you my wife is pregnant. I need to take care of her as husband and future father,’ he said.
‘I will return on August 17 to see the sixth round matches in Dhaka and will start the training on August 21.’
Meanwhile, BFF officials said that the confusion over the coach’s signing agreement ended after his meeting with Salahuddin and they are expecting to complete the signing formalities within next few days.
‘We had a very positive discussion with the coach and he agreed to sign the contract within few days,’ BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said.
‘We will try to complete the formalities before his departure for Belgium on Saturday.’
The BFF was hoping to sign Saintfiet for three months ahead of Asian Cup Qualifiers play-offs against Bhutan on September 6 and October 10.

-With New Age input

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