Nigeria football coach retracts resignation

| February 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

BACK ON BOARD: Stephen Keshi

NIGERIA’S AFRICAN Cup of Nations winning coach Stephen Keshi will stay on as manager of the national team despite handing in his notice yesterday.

Keshi, who has managed the Nigerian side since 2011, tendered his resignation after leading the team to its first cup triumph in 19 years.

The 51-year-old, one of only two people to have won the tournament as both a player and a coach, stunned fans and critics alike when he decided to step down from the post on Monday (Feb 11).

The former Super Eagle who captained the side in 1994 had made it known that he would not change his mind but he did a U-turn after speaking with Nigeria’s sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, late on Monday night.

In a statement, Keshi said: “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. I want to thank the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift and kind intervention.”

According to South Africa’s Metro FM, Keshi said he “gave the [Nigerian Football Federation] my letter of resignation immediately after last night’s game, but I haven’t heard from them yet.”

The station claimed Keshi was sacked ahead of Nigeria’s quarterfinal clash against Ivory Coast and that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had booked a plane back to Nigeria as soon as it found out the Super Eagles were to play one of the strongest teams in the competition.

Nigeria’s former Public Relation officer, Peterside Idah, confirmed Keshi’s claim on Twitter.

He wrote: “Keshi only heard the NFF had given the secretary money for return tickets before Ivory Coast game, only after they won the game.”

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Category: Sports