11 February 2013

Nigeria: Confusion Trails Keshi's 'Resignation'

Photo: Vanguard
Stephen Keshi

The Nigerian Coach reportedly announced his resignation on a South African radio station.

Less than 24 hours after Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso to win the African Nations Cup, confusion has enveloped Nigerian football administration over the work status of Coach Stephen Keshi.

Reports say the coach resigned his position and has submitted a resignation letter to the Nigerian Football Federation.

"I gave them (NFF) my letter of resignation immediately after last night's game, but I haven't heard from them yet," MTN Football quotes Keshi as telling a South African radio station, Metro FM.

Keshi made history on Sunday as he became the first Nigerian to win the Nations Cup as a coach (2013) and as a player (1994).

Officials of Nigeria's football federation are all reluctant to speak on record concerning the speculated resignation. Those who spoke off record said the NFF was yet to receive such a letter.

"We haven't received a resignation letter from Keshi nor discuss his resignation, he's still the Coach of the Super Eagles till date," a top official of the NFF told PREMIUM TIMES.

The NFF is yet to issue an official statement on the controversy.

Eagles spokesperson, Ben Alaiya, also said he was not aware of the resignation.

Alaiya who spoke from Johannesburg on a live radio show monitored in Lagos, said Keshi has not resigned and would make a categorical statement to clear the air as soon as possible.

"I don't know where the news is coming, Coach Keshi has not told me anything like that, right now we are at a function but unfortunately the Coach is not with us because he is also attending another function, there is no truth in the report," Alaiya said.

The Eagles spokesperson, however, admitted that 'there is no smoke without fire,' implying that he does not totally rule out Keshi resigning from his position.

An assistant to Keshi also denied the resignation saying he and other team members are not aware of the resignation.

Before winning the Nations Cup, Keshi had hinted that he could resign his position if Nigeria wins the tournament.

"If I win the cup I may pack and leave, I'm a professional coach," Keshi said after the team's victory against Cote d' Ivoire in the quarter final of the Nations Cup.

Keshi is expected to arrive with the Super Eagles on Tuesday where the team will be hosted by Nigeria's President, Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja.

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