The long running battle for a coach for the Nigerian national male football team, the Super Eagles seems a long way from over, as a new twist unfolds; as the Glass House has said the job is not incumbent coach, Stephen Keshi’s birthright.
The Technical Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Felix Anyansi-Agwu criticised Stephen Keshi for saying a new deal offered him by the football authority amounted to a “slave contract”.
The 52 year old Keshi, who lost narrowly from the Burkina be coaching post last week, reportedly made the remarks after receiving his new contract following an eight month wait. A debate had raged in Nigeria over whether Keshi should be given a new deal, despite leading the Super Eagles to the 2013 Nations Cup title. However, he failed to qualify the team to successfully defend their crown at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, dividing opinion on whether he should continue as coach.
Nevertheless, Keshi said he had received a new deal, though he was far from impressed with what was on offer. In response, NFF technical committee chairman Anyansi-Agwu says Keshi should direct his reservations about the new offer to the NFF and stop embarrassing the country or his potential employers in the media.
“The act of taking contractual matters to the media doesn’t show maturity and discipline from [Stephen] Keshi,” Anyansi-Agwu said. Awgu said “Contracts are not signed on the pages of newspapers and his objections or concerns should be addressed to the federation and not to outsiders.
He added that “Why insult your potential employers in the media if you plan to work with them. He should stop embarrassing and insulting the country in public, it’s the reason he has a lawyer who could speak to us.”
Keshi took over in November 2011 and his initial contract with the NFF ran out after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the second round stage. As caretaker coach he endured a turbulent 2014, in which he was sacked by the NFF and only reinstalled after intervention from Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan.
It is understood that Keshi is been offered a two-year contract effective from 1 March 2015 with him having to meet several targets. He is also required to sign a code of conduct, or else the deal is off. His latest outburst has led to Anyansi-Agwu urging him to ‘walk away’ if he is not happy to share his concerns directly with the NFF.
“The whole thing should not have been blown out of proportion. It’s the NFF employing Keshi and not the other way round, so if he’s not happy he can simply ‘walk away’. “The role is not his birth right, so he should stop acting like it’s him or no one else. “He’s not going about it the right way. Keshi can’t employ those employing him, so if he’s not happy he should come back to us and we can look into it.
“Keshi has worked in other countries and he didn’t engage Togo and Mali in a media war, so if he has advisers then they should tell him the matured path to follow, ” Anywansi-Agwu added. Former international Daniel Amokachi has been in charge of Nigeria on a temporary basis since December due to the uncertainty surrounding the coach’s position.