12 February 2013

Nigeria: Keshi Makes U-Turn, to Continue As Eagles Coach

Photo: Vanguard
Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi has decided to continue with his job as Super Eagles coach.

Keshi had tendered his resignation to the NFF, after leading the Super Eagles to their first Africa Nations Cup triumph in 19 years.

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

However, barely twenty-four hours later, keshi made a U-turn, saying all issues that led to his decision to quit the job had been resolved.

In a statement on Tuesday in Johannesburg, Keshi said: "My attention has been drawn to reports in the media that I have resigned my appointment as the Head Coach of Super Eagles of Nigeria.

"While I have had cause to express my displeasure over some issues that happened in the course of our participation in the AFCON 2013, which my team won by the grace of God, especially concerning my relationship with the Nigerian Football Federation.

" I have since had opportunity to discuss the various issues with all concerned. I am therefore pleased to say that I have reconsidered my position and have decided to continue with my job," Keshi said.

He also thanked the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift intervention in the issues he raised the NFF concerning his position and the future of the team.

Keshi's running battle with the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) heightened in South Africa following the team's poor performance in the first two matches of the just concluded nation's cup.

The minister of sports had told NAN in Johannesburg that in normal course relations there could be differences between an employer and employee when things are not going well.

"Keshi is one of Nigeria's football legend who has made history as a player and a coach having won the nation's cup as player and coach. Nigeria is very proud of him and will continue to support him in the task of building an enduring national team," Abdullahi said.

He, however, said that he would ensure that all outstanding issues concerning Keshi and team are resolved amicably.

"I do not Nigeria to be cited as a country that won the nation's cup and failed to qualify for the second round of the competition in the next competition. We want Keshi and we like Keshi, he has recorded remarkable achievement as a player and coach," Abdullahi said.

Meanwhile, FCT minister Bala Mohammed will today receive the Super Eagles at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Eagles are returning home in a chartered flight after their victory over Burkina Faso's Stallions by 1-0 at the just-concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

A statement by the chief press secretary to the minister, Muhammad Sule, indicates that the minister will receive the Eagles at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 1pm, after which they will make a stopover at the Abuja National Stadium for a mini reception. The statement says the team will later depart for the presidential villa where they will be hosted to a grand reception by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Additional report from NAN

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