Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: They Don't Want Me - Keshi

Photo: Vanguard
Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi has left Nigerians wondering on his next move as Eagles coach when he asked; "do Nigerians want me? He did not wait for an answer when he said "no, they don't want ".

But the Nigeria Football Federation has refuted claims in some quarters that Super Eagles' coach has tendered his resignation after leading the team to success in South Africa.

Answering questions at the mixed zone after leading Eagles to win their third Nations Cup. Keshi was highly criticised for draws with Zambia and Burkina Faso which Nigerians, especially his employers, saw as annoying.

But the team kept faith before hitting form to churn out scintillating victories against Ethiopia and Ivory Coast.

The victory against star studded Drogba-led Ivory Coast became the turning point for the Eagles who were considered outsiders for the Cup. "Nigeria don't value what they have."

Still savouring his two historic Nations Cup as skipper and coach, Keshi added. "Let me enjoy this moment. Nigerians don't want me to stay", he emphasised

While in South during the competition Keshi was aware of plans to disengage him after the Nations Cup.

That was after the two draws in the group stage. "NFF officials boasted openly to Keshi about the expertise of the Zambian coach, whom they said, knew when to effect changes that could change the course of a game."

The sports ministry and the Nigeria Football Federation vehemently denied that they ever planned such but Keshi did believe them as he also had his contacts who hinted him on some discussions that had taken place.

He referred to the authorities when he said "Nigerians don't want me to stay." He indicted sports administrators in the post match press conference when he said that "they will appoint you today and expect you to win the World Cup tomorrow."

Amaju Pinnick, Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission has advised Keshi to remain calm and pursue his World Cup programmes, saying that nobody intended to sack him. He defended the sports minister this way:

"What happened was that people were apprehensive after the first two matches. Many people lost hope in the team but when they beat Ivory Coast in a good match everybody changed and renewed hope in the team. The minister has passion for sports and he is committed to developing sports"

The social media was last night awash with reports of a purported resignation by the coach who was quotes as saying "is unlikely to change his mind, because he believes that NFF did not trust and respect his tactics as a coach."

According to the report on goal.com, "Keshi claims that he was sacked prior to their quarterfinal clash against Ivory Coast, because apparently the Nigerian Football Federation booked a plane back to Nigeria as soon as they found out that they will play Ivory Coast."

NFF denies Keshi resignation story

The Nigeria Football Federation has refuted claims in some quarters that Super Eagles' coach has tendered his resignation after leading the team to success in South Africa.

Speaking exclusively with Sports Radio 88.9 Brila FM from South Africa, NFF board member, Ahmed Kawu described the news as totally false and the football house has not received any notification to that effect while advising Nigerians to stay positive as the country celebrates the victory of the Super eagles

Keshi's resignation story ridiculous

Media officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya has described news on the resignation of Eagles' coach, Stephen Keshi as totally ridiculous.

Speaking live from the Super Eagles' base in South Africa where the team was hosted at Nigeria House in South Africa, Alaiya then added that a formal statement will be made by Keshi himself.

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