February 10, 2015
Despite the overwhelming rejection by Nigerians, the apparent foot dragging and prolonged suspense associated with negotiations for the re-engagement of coach Stephen Keshi as Super Eagles handler, the Nigeria Football Federation is heavily tilted towards giving the coach another chance.
Keshi’s contract with the NFF lapsed after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He was brought back the by the Minister of Sports to guide the Super Eagles through the 2015 Afcon qualifiers on an interim basis. After a string of poor results, the NFF announced they were parting ways with the coach, on a day he led the team to a 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja. But NFF announced that they were parting ways with Keshi after the minister consulted with the players.
Tammy Danagogo wanted to find out from the players why they were having poor runs in the qualifiers. The players said that the coaches were their problems. It was after this that Danagogo asked the NFF to take any decision they felt was good for Nigeria. An emergency meeting was called in Abuja where they decided not to renew Keshi’s contract.
An intervention from higher quarters saw Keshi back in the saddle but he eventually led the team to a disastrous end as the Eagles failed to qualify for Afcon 2015. The team lost the crown they won in 2013 in South Africa without reaching the finals in Equatorial Guinea.
Despite this, the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee will meet in Abuja today to seal the reappointment of Stephen Keshi with a new contract as Super Eagles coach.
Vice Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh confirmed to Sports Vanguard that the committee would meet and it had a lot of issues to address, but top on the agenda is the case of the senior national team handler.
“We are having a meeting of the technical committee on Tuesday(today) and many far reaching decisions affecting Nigerian football will be taken. We will talk about the contract renewal for Stephen Keshi and that of his assistants among other things,” Fresh said.
Vanguard Sports scooped that Keshi will get a new contract.
Asked by Sports Vanguard if they were under pressure to re-engage the 2013 Afcon winner.
“No, we are not under pressure from any quarters. Keshi has done well for the country, and any decision taken would be informed by what has transpired in the past. Keshi would be judged on merit,” Fresh said.
Although the NFF board member would not admit the pressure from above, it is clear that the coach’s chances are made more certain because of higher influences. Analysts believe Keshi would be uncontrollable as he would become more powerful than his employers.
This was evident in his rejection of backroom staff appointed by the NFF before his temporary return to the team. The media officer of the team, Toyin Ibitoye and camp commandant, Garba Lawal were rejected by Keshi, and his preferred personnel for the job are still with the team to date.
Source: Vanguard NG