The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

At Last, Keshi Accepts NFF’s Contract




AFTER ‘the marathon race,’ Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has finally accepted the new deal offered to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to continue handling the Super Eagles.

Keshi’s initial contract of three years ran out after the Brazil 2014 World Cup. He had a mutual agreement with the NFF to take the team through the qualifiers for the 2015 Nations Cup, but he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the competition in Equatorial Guinea, prompting a debate on whether or not to give him a new contract.

When he eventually received a new contract from the NFF earlier this month, the ‘Big Boss’ said he was not impressed with the offer, describing it as a “slave contract.”

However, the President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, told The Guardian yesterday in Lagos that Keshi had accepted the contract, adding that the coach would resume duty next week. His first assignment would be the Super Eagles’ friendly games against the Cranes of Uganda at the Nest of Champions in Uyo on March 26 and the tie against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Nelspruit on March 29.

Pinnick said yesterday that Keshi would meet with members of the sporting media, first in Abuja as he resume office next week, before having a round table talk with those in Lagos. “Yes, Keshi has accepted the NFF contract and he will resume duty next week,” Pinnick told The Guardian.

On insinuations that the Presidency arm-twisted the NFF to give Keshi a new contract despite failing to qualify Nigeria for the 2015 AFCON, Pinnick said: “Sincerely speaking, President Goodluck Jonathan does not have a hand in it. He never gave us any directive concerning Keshi’s return. The NFF Technical Committee felt we should give him another chance.

“Coincidentally, that was the time Mr. President called me and Chris Giwa to the villa over the NFF crisis. That was how people started spreading rumour that Jonathan had directed the NFF to bring back Keshi. It was not so.

“It took us three months to prepare the new contract for Keshi and I am happy the waiting game is over. Keshi needs the support of all Nigerians, the sporting media in particular, and I am sure things will be different this time,” Pinnick said.

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • domnze

    It is surprising how Nigerian journalists and their employers report events. In this type of report what your readers want to see are: how much is this contract and for how long ? who are those working with the head coach and are there conditions attached to the contract such as performance?

    • jonasodocha

      I agree with you completely. Our reportage is never incisive just as it is not investigative. When they told us Keshi referred to his earlier offer as a slave wage none of them bordered to find out how slavish it was. Now that he has accepted this new offer, Nigerians should be made to know what is in this package that is going to make Keshi smile and do a great job. We enjoy hoarding information even when it is made available to us for dissemination. We still have a long way to go!!!

  • jim

    Oh my GOD!!! Keshi Again?

    • Jumpingbrook

      Keshi should be supported, we Nigerians always condemn our own same thing happened to Nigerian Army, they were ill equipped and we expected miracle from them, see now that they have sophisticated armory, the game has changed. So please encourage Keshi.

  • Odogwu

    Nigeria is stinking!

  • Onyiah D. C.

    A step in the wrong direction. Very painful.

  • niiade

    NFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keshi no longer has anything to offer the super eagles… Why is this so difficult to understand abegi!

    • dugud

      Let’s wait and see now.

  • onyebuchi IKEKAMMA

    I weep for Nigeria. The soccer nation has been ruined. Kesh has expired. You don”t need to swallow what you vomited. Sorry for the nation of football. We have, JAY JAY OKOCHA, NWANKWO KANU, SUNDAY OLISEH, OMOKACHIE, among others. Why must it be KESHI. We need to know what the game is all about. I doubt the sincerity of NFF. Save the image of Nigerian football.

    • dugud

      Whom are you pleading with. NFF which runs sports has spoken!

      • Baba Adini

        Dugud, Onyebuchi is not pleading, but he is only expressing his concerns. Such concerns are very important because whenever a coach fails, he is either fired outright or have his job interviewed for by other qualified coaches and even including himself. Thus giving the opportunity for the best coach to be selected. Keshi is a successful coach no doubt, but his contract renewal is typical of Nigerian culture of hand picking leaders without subjecting them to rigorous scrutiny or even competition. We should all wish him the best of luck for successful future outcomes.

    • frank

      Which club has any of those you mentioned above coached that gives you the guarantee that they will perform at national level?. Keshi is a good coach, it was the problem at NFF that made him to fail.

      • Jusu

        So how come the other teams succeeded despite the NFF crisis? The women’s team won the AWC, the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles qualified for the African Championship. Only Keshi failed despite the fact that He was given everything He needed.

  • Truth is bitter

    Keshi is the best coach, in Nigeria, for now. We should not be myopic. With time, Keshi will surprise Nigerians.

  • Rev

    Keshi is simply a trailblazer!

  • dugud

    Congratulations Big Boss. This is more than a second chance and am sure you know it. It has not come easy and is against the wishes of many, many Nigerians; am sure you also know it. Pinnick’s board defied a lot to rehire you . Therefore you cannot afford to let them be told “we said it”. You do not only need to work hard on your coaching job but more importantly, your inter personal relationship with everyone you come in contact with in the course of your work. Accept that part of the reasons for the recent failure was yours and be prepared to fix it during this second chance. Remember that your total acceptability can only come from your success, which I wish you in abundance. Good luck Keshi.

  • jim

    Coaching is all about results………..please lets forget sentiments and stop dwelling on passed glory. He couldnt deliver when we needed it most! Can you all remember what happened to Siasia when he didn’t deliver, he was asked to go… why should Keshi’s case be different. Coaches every where in the world are hired and fired based on present results and not passed performance, I wonder why Keshi’s case should be different. I rest my case.


    like giving him a very long rope to hang himself

  • onyebuchi IKEKAMMA

    Dugud and Frank, I believe you have third world mentality. No one ever resigns on his own unless forced to do so. Keshi lived and played in Europe, he knows he can no longer manage Nigerian football with success. The team needs a new coach to inject new blood. Many world cup coaches left immediately after. Why is Keshi still hanging. Germany had to assemble a team of coaches, former players to handle the national team and It played well. Why don’t we try the same like Holland and others. Don’t be sentimental about success. We have to be sincere to ourselves.