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We won’t shift ground on Keshi’s contract, says NFF




THE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that it would not change the engagement terms it has presented to out of contract Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, telling the former national team captain to either accept the offer or reject it.

Speaking in Abuja when the federation went to defend its 2015 budget at the National Assembly, NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, told the House of Representatives Committee on Sports that the federation carefully packaged the contract, taking into considerations how it would protect everybody involved in the agreement. He stressed that the NFF had no plan to alter any clause in the contract in favour of either coach Stephen Keshi or the federation.

Keshi and his lawyer met with the technical committee of the NFF last week to discuss the terms of the contract, but the parties could not agree on the conditions of engagement. Pinnick clarified that the NFF was not sticking with the coach because of any outside influence, saying that as a former national team captain, who has coached a number of other countries, Keshi was still regarded as one of the best for the job even though he could not qualify the country for the last African Cup of Nations.

“His contract is there, but if he decides not to take it, we are not going to change the terms for any other person that we would want to employ. There are so many coaches outside the country that would be ready to take the offer under the contract terms. This is because they know that they would win laurels coaching the caliber of players Nigeria has.

The money might no be their determining factor. “For example, the current coach that won the AFCON with Cote d’Ivoire, Renard Herve, is earning less than what he was getting in Zambia. This is because he considered the possibilities of winning trophies with the caliber of players in Cote d’Ivoire.  So for a country like Nigeria with so many talents, any coach will be willing to take our offer without much recourse to what is coming into his pocket.  “He will be driven by the passion to succeed.

So we are not going to shift ground on any of the contract clauses. It is left for him to take the offer or reject it,” he said. Pinnick reiterated that the proposed contract the NFF sent to the coach “was designed in such a way that it will protect the federation, Keshi and the country. On whether we will still give the same contract to any other person, I want to explain that the contract was not just for Keshi, but if he does not accept the terms then he has to leave the job and same applies to others.

We considered the economy of the NFF and decided to make due with what we have in payment of all the coaches.” The contract, The Guardian gathered, among other things states that the coach would report to the technical director of the federation, as well as always consult the NFF technical committee before selecting his team for international championships.

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