Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: NFF's Target for Keshi Primitive - Laloko

Kashimowo Laloko, a former Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), on Wednesday said that the target set for the Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi was primitive.

Laloko, who made the assertion at the maiden Ogun Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Forum in Abeokuta, said that such would prevent the coach from performing optimally.

He spoke against the backdrop of the NFA asking Keshi to deliver the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy or nothing.

The first Vice-President of the NFA, Chief Mike Umeh, had toldKeshi that based on the support he (Keshi) enjoyed from the association, "it is either the trophy or nothing".

He, however, added that Keshi would be allowed to perform his job without any interference.

Laloko, the Director of Pepsi Football Academy, Lagos, said there was always room for measuring the performance of any coach, with or without silverwares.

He said that when targets were set for a coach, he might not perform. "To me, it is primitive to set targets; let the coach do his job because there is always a way of measuring his performance.

"I disagree with setting targets; I do not subscribe to it and I do not think it is the right thing to do," he said.

On the non-inclusion of West Bromwich Albion Rover of England forward, Osaze Odemwingie, in the Super Eagles for the Africa Cup of Nations, Laloko described it as a mismanagement of players.

He also said that African football required formal education and formal training for an understanding of players, saying that what happened between Osaze and Coach Stephen Keshi was a personality clash.

Laloko advised Keshi to learn how to understand his players, noting that it was always instrumental to the coach's job security.

"If your player is arrogant and you are also arrogant, you may lose your job at the end of the day," he said.

Laloko lauded Keshi for the inclusion of six home-based players in the Super Eagles, saying that "it is a good omen of what is to come at the tournament if there is no hidden agenda".

"I want to agree with that. It is good and I subscribe to that if the selected ones are the ones who merit it," he added.

The Super Eagles are returning to the Africa Cup of Nation in South Africa after missing the last edition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2011.

Nigeria is drawn in Group C, alongside defending champions Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, with their opening match on Jan. 21, against Burkina Faso.

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