By Onukogu Kanyochuqu Jubal
In what may be termed a ‘predictable’ move, the Nigeria Football Federation, late yesterday night, terminated the appointment of Stephen Okechukwu Keshi as Head Coach of the senior national football team, the Super Eagles.
According to the statement released by the NFF Executive Committee on Saturday and made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday Sports at 10:45pm, the decision was made after “having thoroughly reviewed the reports/findings of the NFF Disciplinary Committee and NFF Technical and Development Committee, as well as having reviewed the actions and inactions of Mr. Stephen Keshi, in the performance of his duties as Super Eagles’ Head Coach, which we found to lack the required commitment to achieve the Federation’s objectives as set out in the coach’s employment contract.”
“To this end,” the statement went further said, “and pursuant to the provisions of Clause 4.3 of the Employment Contract between Mr. Stephen Keshi and the NFF (the contract) and the various clauses therein, the Nigeria Football Federation has decided to exercise its option to summarily terminate the employment contract of Mr. Stephen Keshi with the federation with immediate effect.”
It added that the termination was “without prejudice to the settlement of any existing and due financial obligations between the NFF and Mr. Keshi.”
NFF 1st vice president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who spoke on behalf of the federation’s executive committee, added that the decision was not “taken lightly or with any prejudice, but in the ultimate interest of Nigerian football” and, bizarrely, thanked the coach for his “services to the country” and wished him “the very best” in his future endeavours.
To fill the vacuum created by Keshi’s sack, the team will be jointly managed by assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf and the federation’s technical department, headed by Shuaibu Amodu, until a new coach is named who, Akinwumi said, “along with the NFF, will chart a new direction for the Super Eagles to ensure credible participation in international competitions and assist in building a sustainable football culture for the country.”
It is yet unconfirmed what prompted Keshi’s sack, but, sources in the silent glass house have continually whispered that it may not be unconnected with his alleged application for the job to coach the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and what they called “the eroding discipline in the Super Eagles.”
Culled from LEADERSHIP