Nigeria: Inside Story of Coach Keshi’s Resignation

By Nicholas Ibekwe

The unexpected resignaCoach Stephen Keshition of Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, was a deliberate plot to draw the attention of the presidency to the shoddy manner the Nigerian Football Federation is managing the affairs of the team and the lack of faith in Mr. Keshi’s ability, Premium Times can report today.

A source close to Mr. Keshi said the coach had endured months of undue interference especially from the head of NFF’s technical committee, Chris Green.

“Green sees himself as coach of the Eagles,” our source, who asked not to be named, said.

“He dictates to Keshi on players to select and he is always of the view that Keshi is not good enough. He is an advocate of hiring a European coach. In fact during the Nations Cup, he was discussing with many coaches, especially the coach of Zambia to take over from Keshi.”

According to our source, the lack of faith in the team and the coach’s ability was brought to the fore when the NFF officials reportedly bought return ticket for the players just before the quarter final match against tournament’s favorite, Cote d’Ivoire.

“Green and Maigari has been a pain in Keshi neck. Keshi believed that by resigning, the president will call him and tell him all these and get the guys off his back.”

Minister unhappy with NFF

We further learnt that the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, though not happy with the treatment of the coach by NFF officials, is being cautious about speaking in support of the coach so as not to attract bad press.

“The bad media is not good for Nigeria, he would have love to resolve the issue without the media attention.”

“He is not comfortable with the way they run the place. The minister wants the NFF guys sent home, just like he sent home the NPL (Nigerian Premier League) guys. He almost did last year, but he was stopped by Ayim Pius Ayim (Secretary to the government).”

Presidential Access

According to our source, Keshi will rescind his resignation in 24 hours or as soon as the president interferes in the issue.

“He wants direct access to the president and also he wants the NFF off his back. The kind of politics Westerhof played in 1990s.”

Keshi is already getting what he desires, it seems. The Punch newspaper has reported that the presidency has taken up the issue and the coach has agreed to withdraw his resignation. – Premium Times

Posted by on Feb 19 2013. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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