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Johannes Bonfrere

…He is exhibiting desperation

…Enakhena says he is a liar

By Jacob Obon Ajom

Until 1993, Johannes Bonfrere, former Nigeria coach, was relatively unknown. His rise to fame came about when his once good friend and mentor, Clemens Westerhof brought him as a member of his technical crew, to assist him as a physical trainer of the Super Eagles which the latter was head coach then.

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The two worked together as they took the Super Eagles to both Tunisia and USA ’94 tournaments.

Just before the 1994 AFCON tournament, the two had a misunderstanding in Holland that made Westerhof swore never to to trust Bonfrere again. He asked Bonfrere to leave the Eagles camp. It took the intervention of former Chairman of the defunct National Sports Commission, Late High Chief Alex Akinyele to save Bonfrere.

Despite his misgivings about his number two, who he was paying from his pocket, Westerhof managed their fragile relationship until the Tunisia ’94 triumph and the ill-fated World Cup campaign in the USA, where although the Super Eagles got to the second round, they were knocked out in a dramatic fashion by eventual finalists, Italy.

Twenty-six years after that ‘unforgettable’ match, Bonfrere, from nowhere, said Nigeria lost that World Cup match to Italy because Westerhof sold the match for $100,000. Bonfrere was quoted in an interview he granted Brila FM, Lagos, April 6, 2020, which was widely reported by numerous media platforms across the world(not Vanguard). The interview Bonfrere granted Sport Radio, Brila FM was reported by both online platforms and newspapers in and outside the country from that day it was first aired. Today, Bonfrere is denying ever granting Brila any interview, talk less of him accusing Westerhof of match fixing.

In a video disclaimer making the rounds and generously shared by his Nigerian agents, Bonfrere denied everything about the reported interview and said Vanguard was responsible for the circulation of ‘false’ news about him. We repeat, Sports Vanguard never reported the purported interview Bonfrere had with Brila. We at Sports Vanguard are eminently embarrassed that Bonfrere has singled out Vanguard for vilification and ridicule. We repeat, Vanguard never carried the report on the interview, contrary to Bonfrere’s lie against us.

What Sports Vanguard did was a report on Westerhof’s reaction to the purported interview which had already become a global affair.

In an elaborate interview with Sports Vanguard on the matter, Westerhof told us his plan to take Bonfrere to court to clear his name and also spoke on his relationship with his former subordinate and where he lost trust in the man. Our first story on the matter captioned: Clemens Westerhof: I’ll sue Bonfrere to clear my name, was published April 12, 2020. Several efforts to reach Bonfrere for his side of the story were futile as he would nether pick his call nor respond to our numerous text messages.

Westerhof has made good his threat and taken Bonfrere to court in Holland and the accuser who has now become the accused in a Dutch court, is desperate to wriggle out of trouble by making wild claims and disclaimers.

From the foregoing, we at Sports Vanguard are not surprised by Bonfrere’s grandstanding as the media house he granted the interview has yanked off the recorded voice from its platform.

Our surprise however, is how the following platforms(not by any means exhaustive) that reported the interview story can be wrong: The Herald 06/04/2020, Complete Sports (7/04/2020), Whirlwind News of 7/04/2020, Nairaland Forum (07/04/2020), Independent Newspapers 08/04/2020), Pulse 10/04/2020) , KICK 442 magazine also reported the interview on 10/04/2020, Best Choice Sports(online) OnlineNigeria, Newsdiplomat, City Pulse, etc.

The reaction of former Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Association, Alhaji Sani Toro was also reported by Nairaland Forum of 15/04/2020.

Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena, who said he listened to the interview had this to say about the video denial by Bonfrere: “Until I met and started mingling with white people, I used to think they were angels. But I realised that the only reason, majority of them obey rules in their countries is because they get punished when caught.

“I have also found out that the whites lie and are very dubious.

“I Just watched the short clip of Johannes Bonfrere posted by Pepsie, and I must say that he is a poor liar. I was fortunate to listen to his early morning interview with Brila and he said all he’s denying right now.

“What really would it take away from him to say I am sorry for saying what I said in my interview with Brila?

“Why is he speaking tongue in cheek (poorly scripted for him to read), about the Vanguard Newspapers and the Nigeria media that quoted verbatim all he said on Brila?”


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Source: Vanguard News

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