Has the NFF finally gotten rid of Keshi?

By Aiyeku Timothy June 20, 2015 16:14

Has the NFF finally gotten rid of Keshi?

Confusion has set in as yet another chain of tumultuous events has played out with Nigerian football Federation, NFF, and the Super Eagles coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi.

Keshi has only enjoyed a “forced” peace with the NFF from the inception of his second reign as the Eagles handler and doubts remain over his happiness at the job.

There seems to be a strained relationship between him and his employers.

Recently crisis was temporarily resolved after Keshi stayed several months without a job, and the Eagles without a proper coach leaving Nigerian football to suffer awkwardly.

This almost forced Keshi to rule himself out of a return as Nigeria coach, after losing patience with the Glass House having run out of his initial contract on June 30 2014 without a renewal and agreement.

Now the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF has seized the freedom of the coach from selecting his choice of players, imposing a Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu and the technical study group to supervise his functions.

According to the NFF President, “Keshi will still have his input (in the team). The only people who are not really working well now are the technical study group because it is a process. He doesn’t have the liberty anymore to say he wants to bring in players from places.

    “We must look at all the players (he invites from now on) and it must go through the technical department and Amodu will certainly make a comment.

    “And like I told him, Shuaibu Amodu, if anything happens we are not going to hold Keshi responsible but we are going to hold you responsible because you are a part of it. And we made him to understand that and he said ‘yes sir.’

    “So if you say you want to be Keshi’s friend – we are not fighting anybody – or you want to compromise but you are the technical director and we are going to hold you responsible. And he said ‘yes.’ So he is very strong and is not just a passing technical director.”

This development is however followed by several reactions as many think it’s a way of pushing Keshi out of the job, with some claiming the development is not being practiced in any part of the world.

Others added that the development will only limit the influence of the coach on the team which will have an adverse effect on the team.

Recall that recent reports on the media alleged that Keshi was queried by the federation to explain why non-league striker Gabriel Okechukwu made the Eagles substitute bench for the AFCON qualifiers against Chad where the Super Eagles won by 2 goals to nothing.

Right in the thick of things, Stephen Keshi is reportedly one of the 59 applicants vying for the job of the head coach of the Ivorian national team, with his application already in the pot to succeed Herve Renard.

This development could be traced to the fact that Keshi is believed to be unhappy with his job, especially with the unending cold war between him and the NFF, leaving him with no other option than to bail.

The NFF while reacting disclosed “The NFF will open a full investigation to determine whether Mr Stephen Keshi actually applied for the vacant Ivory Coast job.

    “There will be no hasty decision. We hope to get a full report from the Ivory Coast Football Federation before making an official statement.”

The continued cold war has left Nigerian football in general to suffer. The old time respect from across the globe is gone. Teams now find no fear in facing the “Almighty” Super Eagles.

It is therefore no surprise that the U-20 Flying Eagles and the Super Falcons recently failed to meet up to expectations at their various world tournaments, leaving the Nigerian fans in disappointment.

Granted, the last AFCON Qualifier showed signs of recovery. It may yet be a case of one step forward and several in reverse.

NFF’s disrespect of coaches and lack of a proper developmental technical plan, now appears to be causing so much damage.

Nigerians are pointing fingers at the coaches, especially as they are more visible. When will this all end?