Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Onu Wants Wider Powers for Keshi

AS the Super Eagles made a triumphant entry into the country as champions f Africa from South Africa on Tuesday, Erasmus Onu, a former handler of the home-based Eagles team, has suggested that Stephen Keshi be granted greater autonomy as coach of the national team over technical and financial concerns of the team.

He has also called on the football authorities to take measures that would strengthen the home-based Eagles programme given recent benefits. "I like to appreciate the team for winning the cup in South Africa and the government for rewarding them. However, now that the whole country has seen benefits in falling back on talents within, I will also ask the authorities to sustain the home-based Eagles programme with enhanced resources and backing to ensure it survives the test of time," he said.

He added that, "we would have long seen the light if home-based talents had been given the opportunity. We have seen what can be done if the home-based Eagles' project is driven on a long-term by the football House if it has the enabling environment because we have players who are ready to play with full commitment and loyalty to the country."

Coach of the Nigerian football team Stephen Keshi speaks to journalists at the airport in Abuja on February 12, 2013. The newly crowned African champions Nigerian Super Eagles arrives in Abuja to a warm reception by fans and government officials after defeating Burkina Faso to win the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. AFP PHOTO

The former Wikki Tourists and Jigawa Stars handler said he would be happier if the government gave Keshi more powers.

"They will still find means to distract him and put obstacles that could choke his programme. So, I will rather prefer that a presidential order be made such that can grant Keshi supervisory powers over the NFF to stem constant interference.

This action to me will compel NFF Board members like Emeka Inyama, technical committee chairman Chris Green and president Aminu Maigari to report to Keshi. He "Keshi" must be a genius to have survived the intrigues and inside plots reportedly made by the FA members to derail the Eagles in the the competition." he added.

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