Leadership (Abuja)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: Senate Pass Vote of Confidence On Keshi

Following a reversal of an earlier resignation notice issued by the country's Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Stephen Keshi, fresh facts have emerged how the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) pressured Keshi to accept the services a foreign technical team while the tournament lasted.

Senate President, David Mark made the disclosure at plenary when he briefed Senators of a Tuesday morning phone call placed to Keshi when the report of the latter's resignation broke.

Mark said, "I spoke to Stephen Keshi this morning (Tuesday) and he confirmed to me that he actually said he has resigned. He said the reason is because there is too much interference. Before the final match on Sunday there was a lot of pressure on him that he must accept foreign technical advisers and he said he is opposed to it because he has got all that he needs in this country. That there are Nigerians who can work with him and he doesn't see the gain in bringing foreigners.

"I think once we allow him (Keshi) and give him the team to manage, we should give him the free hand to manage the team. Whatever way he goes to get the result that should not be our problem. Once we give him the task we should give him a free hand to accomplish the task and bring the result... The Sports Ministry or the administrators must give him a free hand to bring us the result that we want.

LEADERSHIP reports that Keshi announced his decision to stand down as manager of the Super Eagles on Monday, less than 24 hours after guiding Nigeria to their third continental crown with a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso.

Keshi reportedly had a falling out with NFF officials after they booked a flight home for the squad ahead of their quarter-final against tournament favourites Ivory Coast, a match they won 2-1.

However, following a meeting with Nigeria's Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, late on Monday night, Keshi was persuaded to carry on.

Meanwhile, in wide-ranging contributions on a motion "Nigeria's Glorious Outing at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013" sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and 107 Senators, passed a vote of confidence on Keshi.

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