Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi has blamed sabotage for Nigeria’s loss to Sudan in Khartoum on Saturday.
The defeat, the third in a row for the team, has badly jeopardized Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2015 African Nations Cup in Morocco.
Keshi said it beats his imagination that the bulk of players he used in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, and for winning the Nations Cup, have suddenly become so ineffective to be struggling to qualify for the next championship.
“There is sabotage from within,” Keshi said. “Some people just don’t give a damn about this country. They are ready to go the extra mile to see Keshi fails.”
He warned: “It’s not about me, it should be the country first.”
Indeed Keshi has not had it smooth with his players lately.
Aside those who have been denied call-ups to the national side after brushes with the interim coach, key players like Emmanuel Emenike has openly dared Keshi after being purportedly criticised by the coach.
Emenike went as far as stating that he should not be invited for Nigeria matches if Keshi in anyway sees him in bad light or a clog in the wheel of progress.
With his contract already expired since after the World Cup in Brazil, Keshi has been locked in complex negotiations with the Nigeria Football Federation.
However, there have not been a headway for Keshi returning full time as the national team gaffer largely because of the crisis that plagued the NFF since after the World Cup.
The situation has worsened for Keshi now as results no longer go his way. In his last 11 matches, Keshi has managed just one win with the ten other games evenly ending in draws and losses for the Super Eagles.
While Keshi is blaming sabotage for his present predicament, a member of the Confederation of African football, CAF, Tech Committee, Paul Bassey, has disagreed.
Mr. Bassey said Keshi is now actually bereft of ideas.
According to Mr. Bassey, Keshi has failed to adhere to all the wise counsels he has been given and has preferred to run the show in his way.
“It will be honourable if he just walks away because what will he do differently? What will he achieve? This team is not a Keshi team. A coach that is technically sound must be able to work in a way that we’ll know what he can do. Keshi doesn’t even listen when we propose the name of a player, he listens to no one,” Bassey said on Sports Radio Brila FM on Monday.
Nigeria’ 0-1 loss in its qualifying campaign against Sudan at the Municipal Stadium in Khartoum over the weekend leaves the Super Eagles at bottom of Group A with just a point from three matches and with the stark reality of missing out on next year’s AFCON.