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FIFA’s Ban: Disturbing times for Keshi

THESE are disturbing times for those who care for the health and growth of the beautiful game.

With each passing day, there is the temptation to think that the gods of the game here have resolved to perpetually perpetuate darkness where there is a flash of light.

We thought the cloak of FIFA suspension and its concomitant attraction of self-seeking stakeholders was a fading syndrome, but alas, we are now battling once more to clear our eyes and perhaps see clearly.

Little wonder the erstwhile coach of the Super Eagles was quick to show his shock when told that the FIFA hammer has come down on Nigerian football even if not as hard as some had prayed for.

“Are you serious,” Keshi asked and then continued. “What did they say we did again? If it is the matter with the court, how are we going to settle it? What about the congress and the issue of funds, will FIFA address the case? Anyway I wish you guys well. They should try and settle the matter quickly so that these young girls can play in the junior World Cup. They were billed to travel to Canada and now they have to wait.”

Not the first time Keshi will show attention to young girls particularly as a father who is very close to his daughters. Indeed, at the pre World Cup friendly in the United States of America, Keshi was among members of the Super Eagles who earnestly joined the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign and for those who have followed this page, it is on record that one of the biggest influences into coaching came from his daughter who wanted him to help out as an instructor.

Of course Keshi is not only surprised about the FIFA’s suspension of Nigeria and its impact at this time, he is particularly stunned by those who think he does not deserve the speculated salary of N10 million.

“Na wah o. When and where did I make such demand? I am surprised where that kind of story came from. I have not spoken to anybody about a new contract and yet they wont allow me my needed rest. For goodness sake, if I am to negotiate, I will ask for more than that. Is it that I am not white?

“Even as a club coach, what is that amount? You were all witness to the salary rating of coaches in the World Cup. The coach of Nigeria was in the lowest bracket, number 28 out 32. What do you make of that? The highest paid coach and the second did not make it to the group stage yet they are shouting here. I have left their job for them. Let them get a white coach and not pay him accordingly. We need to get serious. This is not the time for this. Let’s see what can be done to get off FiFA’s hook.”
Reminded that the suspension may affect the qualifier of the Africa Nations Cup, Keshi took a deep breath and carefully repeated that he is no longer the coach of the Super Eagles and it is not in his present scope of thought to start contemplating a work plan.

“I sincerely wish you guys well. Hope you settle this problem and get someone to handle the team. As you are aware, I am no longer the coach.”

Only a few days ago, he got the endorsement of the former governor of Abia State and a staunch supporter of Nigerian football, Orji Uzor Kalu who said amongst other things that “Keshi’s performance with the national team is outstanding. His records speak volumes about what the country has achieved since he began as head coach. However Emenalo (Mike) is undoubtedly a capable replacement should Keshi leave the job. His current position as Chelsea’s sporting director since 2007 shows his pedigree.”

Teased to react on a possible choice of successor as suggested by the one-time Pillar Of Sports in Nigeria, Keshi volunteered…”Emenalo is good, but there are others who can thrive here…” Is it like Dan (Amokachi) who has worked with you? At this point, Keshi went down memory lane on how he had to persuade Amokachi to join hands with him and see what difference they could make.

“Dan did not want to work in the Eagles. But he was ready to partner with me and contribute his own quota.” No doubt, if the Big boss opts to step aside there would be many contenders, but the choice will not be as open as Sunday’s World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. Think about it, leadership is also about succession.


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Posted by on Jul 10 2014. Filed under Headlines, Soccer, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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