Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles Head Coach, was on Tuesday awarded a medal of the Francophonie 2013, an award of excellence for career contributions to French speaking countries.
The award was presented by the French Ambassador, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, at the French Institute in Abuja.
Mr. Labriolle told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that all Ambassadors of French speaking countries come together each year to give out three medals of Francophonie award to three personalities that have added value to French speaking countries.
"Our idea this year was to award the medal to Nigerians, who we believe, have been excellent in their real work of life and have something to do with Francophonie in one way or the other."
He said Keshi was given the award this year because of his past history of coaching teams in Mali, France, Togo and Belgium, adding that he spent half of his career playing in French-speaking countries.
"Stephen Keshi is awarded the medal because he has spent half of his career playing in French speaking countries; he made his career in Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, France and Belgium. He speaks good French, coaches French speaking teams and he taught them the value of ethics, excellence, humility in collective game and we believe he merits the Francophonie. Therefore, he is worthy of the award and we are glad he accepted it," he said.
Responding, Keshi said he least expected the award and that it would serves as a career booster for him. He promised that he would continue to be a good role model to the youth all over the world.
"I want to thank you for having me in mind for this award. I have never had it in mind that I will be selected for this award. It is indeed a moral boost to my career. This means I have to do much more, work harder to be better and be a good role model to the youth."