Keshi Secures Two-year Contract with NFF

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Keshi signed 2-year contract some few months ago

The Stephen Keshi saga was finally put to rest yesterday after he was handed a two-year performance-based contract as the Super Eagles head coach by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winning coach was presented to the media by NFF’s 1st Vice- President, Seyi Akinwunmi, and Chairman of the federation’s Technical Committee, Felix Anyasi-Agwu.

Akinwunmi stood in for NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who is presently not in the country.
Keshi”s immediate term of reference is to secure qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in 2017.
The Super Eagles who failed to qualify to defend the AFCON title which held this year in Equatorial Guinea, will begin their chase to make the cut in June with a visit to Ndjamena against Chad.

But it was obvious the yearning gaps in the new contract which Keshi penned yesterday will give room for speculations.
For instance, both NFF and Keshi were silent about some clauses like the value of the contract and the package for his assistants.

In the course of negotiations, Keshi bluntly said he would not want to work with NFF’s Technical Director, Shaibu Amodu, after the latter openly advised him against remaining as the Eagles coach following the failure of the national team to secure a slot to the AFCON 2015.

While Akinwunmi declined to disclose the terms of the contract which he described as ” a private contract,” Anyasi – Agwu conceded that the technical committee would in a couple of days make parts of the contract available to the public.

It is expected that Keshi will work with Salisu Yusuf as his assistant having kicked against the retention of Daniel Amokachi as his assistant.

Akinwunmi said the identity of the assistant coaches was not revealed because the federation would still need to negotiate their own contract first.

Keshi, who thanked Nigerians for believing in him, described the new offer as an opportunity to serve the country.
But he issued a caveat that the job is a huge task that demanded a collective effort to achieve success.

“I cannot do this job alone, it is a huge task. The sky is the limit for us if we work together. Football is very important for us as a country, but we must be prepared for results – win, draw and a loss. We must work together to make Nigeria proud, ” Keshi stressed.
He said his ambition is to take Nigeria to new heights under the new dispensation.

Keshi added that the Eagles would prepare well against Chad and will not give anything away.
On the upgrading of some of the Under-20 players to the senior national team, Keshi said he would consider playing some of them if they can cope with the challenges of top flight football.

He also said he was in direct talk with some of the Diaspora players, particularly Sammy Ameobi, adding he would talk with the NFF secretariat to look out for other foreign – born Nigerian players that are eligible to represent the country.

culled from THISDAY

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