Keshi: My Sack, Not The End Of The World

Keshi: My Sack, Not The End Of The World

Stephen Keshi says it is time for him to move on following his dismisal Thursday morning as the caretaker coach of the Super Eagles.

“It is about time for me to move on, my dear. This is not the end of the world for me,” he reportedly told PREMIUM TIMES a few hours after his ‘sack’.

Keshi’s dismisal seems to have got the support of majority of soccer loving Nigerians who chanted before Wednesday’s 3-1 hammering of Sudan in the reverse fixture of the 2015 AFCON qualifier in Abuja that the Big Boss should quit his job.

Keshi’s relationship with the Nigeria Football Federation before yesterday’s final nail on his coffin as Eagles boss was anything but cordial.

He replaced Samson Siasia in late 2011 after he (Siasia) mfailed to qualify Nigeria for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012.

Keshi restored order to the team and was able to return the team to the biggest stage of African football by qualifying for the 2013 AFCON held in South Africa.

Nigeria hadn’t won the tournament for 19 years before Keshi led them to the 2013 Cup of Nations, with what is, it’s widely agreed, a weaker squad than many that had tried and failed in the previous two decades. After the final, though, there was little celebration.

The mood rather was tense and Keshi offered his resignation amid reports that the NFF had approached Hervé Renard, who had just left his job as Zambia manager, to replace him.

Keshi was persuaded to stay on but he hasn’t exactly been feted. He went seven months without pay last year as the NFF pleaded poverty – while at the same time looking for “a foreign advisor” to work alongside him. In June last year, after Nigeria had gone out of the Confederations Cup in the group stage (having hammered Tahiti and played relatively well but lost against Spain and Uruguay), the then-NFF president, Aminu Maigari, announced Keshi would no longer have sole responsibility for selecting the squad.

In March, the NFF sent Keshi a letter – one that was widely leaked to the press – upbraiding him for attending a media roundtable and lunch with TomTom, which sponsors the national team, rather than going to a technical meeting in Abuja. Another letter added the further complaint: “You travelled out of Nigeria before 13 February 2014, the day President Jonathan received the Africa Nations Championship [Chan – the international tournament for players based in Africa] team, causing us huge embarrassment.”

But with characteristic cussedness, Keshi stayed on and, in Brazil, he became the first African coach ever to take a team into the knockout rounds of the World Cup. Had the referee Mark Geiger sent off Blaise Matuidi for a foul on Ogenyi Onazi – as he surely should have – Nigeria might even have beaten France to reach the quarter-finals. Keshi’s contract ran out after the tournament but, with no clear decision on whether he should be offered a new one, he stayed on.

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  • Saint Palmer 4 years ago

    My Opinion, Keshi is a good coach and record wise one of the best in Africa, only Nigerian ex national team skipper, handled 3 diffrent african nations at the Afcon (1st African to achieve that ) qualify 2 diffrent countries for the WC,All these old and experience nigerian coaches can never get to that, am sure by God grace he will get a far better job and with people with good mind not backward,evil minded people like the Nigerians

    • FELIX TORNA GARUTER 4 years ago

      I agree with you bro
      Where was Pinnicks and Amudu when
      Nigeria went trophyles for 19 years?

  • FELIX TORNA GARUTER 4 years ago

    All God fearing,
    Patriotic and diligent.
    Keshi will succeed.
    Where was NFF when Nigeria
    Played for 19 years without a trophy?
    All things happened for good and in
    The best interest of them that love God.
    Keshi is a hero.

  • David 4 years ago

    Saint Palmer, am sure you are on the pay roll of stephen keshi. Have been following all your response ever since and I have discovered that you deliberately HATE Nigeria and can even join the Boko Haram to destroy Nigeria. You expected a proud, aggressive, disrespectful coach who does not regard his employer a bit to be retained for the JOB. A coach who fight and keep Malice with all our STARS. All because SUNDAY MBA refused to allow him to dictate his footballing career. He kicked that Innocent guy out of Super Eagles. Reluctantly he took Osaze to the world cup after a lot of persuasion. Osaze finally gave us the only WINNING we had in the world cup. Where is John Ogu who performed brilliantly at the Nations cup. Where is Ikechukwu Uche, Iheanacho, our wonder kid, Obafemi Martins, Chinedu Obasi and our rest STARS. He ENVIED all of hem and kicke them out and here you are saying RUBBISH.