The only Dutch coach to win the African Cup

tropical adventure

He was one of the first Dutch football coaches to indulge in such a strange adventure. Football in Nigeria was hardly developed in the late 1980s. It also turned out to be a country with a harsh political system. Things got worse when General Sani Abacha took power in a coup in 1993. “Abacha is seen as the most powerful dictator Nigeria has ever known,” said Edwin Schon, author of the book. ball forceIt is a book on politics and football in Africa. “Abacha eliminates anything that violates democracy.”

However, Westerhoff did not care about the political situation: “You must not get involved in politics and follow your own path, otherwise it will be your turn.” But he had good political connections. According to Vinidi George, one of the Nigerian footballers at the time, Westerhof was able to reach the top coach. “The problems were resolved very quickly.”

Despite the culture of fear created by Abacha, it was not safe in Nigeria. However, Westerhof says he always had a good night’s sleep. “Because I had a magnum under my pillow. I also had one in the closet, and a double-barreled revolver.”

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