My sack, not the end of the world – Keshi

Stephen Keshi

The Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, in reaction to his sack on Wednesday night by the newly elected Nigeria Football Federation’s board, has said it is time for him to move on.

Keshi seemed to be in good spirits while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday morning, shortly after his dismissal.

“It is about time for me to move on, my dear. This is not the end of the world for me,” he said.‎

During Nigeria’s Wednesday encounter with Sudan in Abuja, a match which ended 3-1 in favour of the Super Eagles, Nigerian fans at the packed stadium started chanting as Keshi stepped onto the pitch: “You must go.”

The coach, who took the Super Eagles job four years ago, won the 2013 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, in South Africa and led the team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 Confederations Cup, both in Brazil.

However, he has been struggling to qualify Nigeria for the 2015 Afcon, and has so far recorded a home and away defeat in Calabar and Sudan respectively.

Following the 2013 Afcon, Keshi failed to stick with the winning team of players and has been inconsistent in his choice of players for other competitions. He was criticised for the calibre of players he selected to play at the World Cup, a run that ended at the round of 16.

Meanwhile, in spite of the sack, he and his former assistants, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorounmu, are expected to proceed for a coaching course, fully funded by the NFF in any country of their choice.


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  • Mr. Arsenal

    The Boss move on, go manage @ club level nd u’ll be forever be great among the greatest

  • tsunami1earthquake

    The annoying and unfortunate thing about coaching is the fact that spectators and other citizens become coaches on their own and begin to pontificate on which player to include or not include in a game. And even the board of directors of the National football federation and other associated bodies come out on their own as individual coaches. And many of the people making these demands have never kicked a football in their life. So what is the job of the real coach? All these noises are confusing even to the most stable and lion-heart football coach! A coach is not only a tactician but he is supposed also to rein in on members of his team to enforce discipline. We have heard about the spat between Keshi and Ike Uche. When a player shows gross indiscipline, in spite of his talents, do you expect the coach to continue to field or invite such a person? From what we can read, Nigeria would choose between an undisciplined talented player and a coach and would prefer to throw this coach out for this player to remain. What a mess! When Christian Chukwu was in charge and was soft and mild with the players, Nigerians cried out that Chukwu was weak and could not enforce discipline! And Chukwu was thrown out! Now, Keshi wanted to enforce discipline; and Nigerians cried out that Keshi was hard, stubborn and unreasonable! Haha! What a type of people are Nigerians! Now, Amodu is there, albeit temporarily, but could someone tell the nation why Amodu was removed at the time he coached this Super Eagle’s team? Very soon Amodu will fall out of favour and the NFF will remove him; that is the trend in the NFF. And what did a foreign coach do in the past that Stephen Keshi has not done? What magic wand do these people in the NFF think a foreign coach would bring into the coaching job? Yes, the foreign coach may have played international football in his country; but have our Nigerian coaches not done the same? Have our Nigerian coaches not sat in the same classroom as these foreign coaches and taken same lectures? Okay bring on such a foreign coach and let’s see how he would help Nigeria win the World Cup in 2018. Meanwhile a foreign coach would only replicate what our Nigerian coaches have already done, that is winning the AFCON and other continental trophies. Keshi, for example, has shown a very great achievement here! And what Nigerians don’t realise also is that a coach must not take all the blames for his team’s defeat.

    Take a look at the crop of players in the present AFCON qualifying matches. Are these Nigerian players not sound and seasoned professionals in their various clubs abroad? What have they achieved on the football field? Do Nigerians also expect the coach to go into the field of play and play for these players? Haba! In my view, these players are just past it and must not be called up again. And if the argument is that Nigeria should have used 100% local boys the question would then be: was the decision to field only these past-it professionals Keshi’s decision only? I am sure if Keshi had said he wanted only home boys the same NFF would have objected. And Heaven bless Keshi if he had done that and produced the same result as this one. My take is that the crop of administrators and other stakeholders in Nigerian football must give way also as Keshi has done. With that the responsibility for failure should be apportioned across board.

    • uwa

      The problem is not that the coach was sacked! We have not being able to answer how a coach that is not disciplined can raise a disciplined team. Keshi was not discipline as a player and is not discipline as a coach……we really need this discipline in our national team and only a well disciplined coach can do that effectively. There is no BIG BOSS anywhere.

  • Modibbo Adamu

    You were sacked bcos you failed Nigeria woefully