Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, and Coach Stephen Keshi, have reached an agreement on the ongoing pre-contract talks regarding the latter’s continued stay as Super Eagles’ Head Coach.
Both parties, it was gathered, agreed that the coach would for now take charge of the team in its upcoming two matches.
This agreement, which will be in place until after the matches in September, is to allow for the team to have a handler for the period of the two matches.
Coach Keshi’s two-and-a-half-year contract was up after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
But renewal talks became very necessary and urgent in view of the team’s qualification campaign for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Morocco, which ends on November 19.
The Super Eagles are grouped alongside South Africa, Congo and Sudan in Group A of the qualifiers and will take on Congo on September 6 in Calabar and visit South Africa on September 10.
However, wrangling among board members of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, kept the matter unresolved until the Sports Minister stepped in.
According to a source, who pleaded for anonymity, the talks would resume immediately after the two matches.
Speaking on the development, an aide of the coach, Emmanuel Ado, confirmed that an agreement was indeed reached between the Minister and Keshi.
“The agreement is all about Nigeria. Keshi as a patriotic Nigerian believes he has no choice other than to look at Nigeria first, before himself.
“The Minister is the Commander-in-Chief for sports in Nigeria, and when he summons his officers, of which Keshi is one, he (Keshi) can’t say `no’.
“It is a matter of averting what can end in a disaster for the country. Nothing yet was agreed as per the salary or other terms. Talks regarding that will resume after the two matches,” he said.
Mr. Ado commended the minister for his prompt intervention, saying “this has helped in averting disaster.
“I must say that the minister really deserves all praise. We should give him credit for wading in to avert what can be a disaster.
“Now that he has stepped in and brokered an agreement, all is well and we can be sure that the team Super Eagles will be starting the qualifiers on a very good note for a successful campaign for a ticket to Morocco 2015,” he said.