The Nigeria Football Federation has come out to explain why coach Stephen Keshi has not signed a new contract, adding that they are ready to cooperate Keshi when he resumes as the head coach of the Super Eagles.
The NFF's view was expressed by their president, Amaju Pinnick, in a bid to clear the air following the failure of the NFF and Keshi to finalise on a deal last Friday despite the initial announcement to that effect.
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There was no explanation by the NFF why the presentation failed to hold but one board member told reporters that the programme would not hold and that Keshi may not even be the final candidate after all.
On Sunday Pinnick said, “I am shocked at these insinuations because the NFF executive committee gave the go-ahead for a new contract with Keshi at its meeting in Uyo last month, and Keshi and his lawyers have looked at the contract agreement and are satisfied with every word in the final draft.
“As a federation, we have gone ahead to arrange some refresher programmes for Keshi, at nobody’s prodding, and which are meant to enhance Keshi’s knowledge and improve the man’s capacity as a world-class strategist. We would not be doing that if we are not ready to work with him.”
He then said that no one is forcing Keshi on them despite the public belief that the coach was recalled to the team by an executive fiat.
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“No one is forcing Keshi on us. We have sat down with him and he has agreed to all terms that we put down and he is ready to work to lift the Super Eagles back to glorious days,” he said.
The NFF boss promised that Keshi will be presented later this week but no specific date or venue was however given.
“There were a few ends to tighten and Keshi himself understands perfectly and is comfortable with the arrangements to have the contract sealed early this week. We are not dribbling him,” he said.
“He won the Africa Cup of Nations with the team and led Nigeria to the round of 16 at the World Cup in his first term. It is the belief of the NFF that Keshi can still perform at the highest level.”
Keshi is expected to resume on the job without Daniel Amokachi as his assistant. Keshi has reportedly approved that the former Everton striker be replaced.