Nigeria Sacks Super Eagles Coach
Barely two months after winning the prestigious African cup of nations 2013 (after a 19yrs wait) one would expect Nigeria’s football governing body (and any reasonable governing body at that) to embark on a consolidation policy of the positives and intensify efforts and investments as the nation strives to qualify for the Upcoming 2014 world cup in Brazil.
Unfortunately, news that greeted me as I visited Nigeria last week was totally on the contrary and troubling to say the least!
Stephen Keshi’s trusted right hand man & assistant coach Sylvanus Okpara has been sacked and to add salt to the wound ,Keshi’s salary is to be slashed down! (So instead of being upgraded for winning the Nations cup,our Chief Coach is to take a pay cut)
It is further reported that players match bonuses are to get a 50% cut to save more funds for the federation. The NFF (Nigerian Football Federation) Sites lack of funds and a dire need to reduce costs as the sole reason for this maneuver.
Ironically, for a federation said to be facing “austerity” interviews are said to be on the way to fill the vacant post of a National technical director! An appointment might have been announced by the time you read this.
Ever since this beautiful victory of the AFCON 2013,all that has come out of Nigeria’s football has been the negatives and Nigerians deserve better! :
Keshi, the African Nations cup winning coach, threw in the towel and retired, only to go back on his decision!
Our most prolific striker at the moment and in my opinion, the best striker we have had since the legendary Rashidi Yekini Retired, Emmanuel Emeneke has cried out in pains at the neglect and abandonment he has had to endure from the federation and all concerned, after the nations cup as regarding his injury. An injury he sustained during the semi-finals of the won AFCON vs. Mali ,playing for Nigeria!
Captain Yobo is said to be angry and feels neglected and not respected for not being invited for the World cup qualifiers vs. Kenya.He also rejects the lack of information from the chief coach, Keshi as to the effect before reading it from the press.
Kenya came to Nigeria an walked away with a draw and one minute less of extra time and Nigeria would have lost, and all of a sudden we are no longer runaway leaders in our group(tied first with Malawi on 5 points from 9 available) and Kenya, our next opponent, now have a reason to believe in their chances of qualification, as slim as it might be, and that has now seemingly complicated our chances of world cup football 2014 ,though it is not yet dramatic in my opinion!
At this rate one would not be wrong to ask : is this is not “suicidal madness” ?
Of course we were the best team at the AFCON 2013 in South Africa, February 2013,but that was ‘yesterday stuff’ in football, but today we are now in April and have to confirm our new status!
In football you are as good as your last game, and at the moment, be it on the pitch(vs. Kenya) or at the administrative level, we are far from being Africa’s best!
It is no secret that Keshi and the NFF are not the best of friends and his winning of the AFCON definitely ‘hurt’ some, just as many feel that Keshi’s Ego and his “Bigger Than all” personality is a problem to cope with, but the fact remains that he is an AFCON winning coach and some pride or Ego should be tolerated, the tools have to be made available to him to help him succeed not reduce them!
Sacking Keshi’s assistant who is not only a valuable element to Keshi, a close friend too and in my opinion a useful assistant is in no way helping Keshi, the super Eagles or the nation at all, on the contrary it is definitely going to weaken the Super Eagles.
some critics believe that is the aim of the recent developments but at the detriment of whom really? Keshi? the players? or the nation, Nigeria?
The super Eagles deserve more than ever now more support and unity since our opponents will now be more motivated than ever (e.g. Kenya recently) when they face up the Super Eagles, and not this in fighting etc
The Coaches choice of players is also being contested etc and that is just plain out of place! When will we learn? The coach is free and solely responsible for invited players and Keshi owes no explanation to anyone as to regards his choice of players unless when he fails, and at the moment he is doing well, why the unnecessary questioning? Thought that was why he was employed, no?
A team that wins AFCON cannot be facing Austerity! If you cannot in this golden modern era market a winning team via sponsors,advertisements,collaborations and money bringing promotions after they win the AFCON, then I do not understand when our administrators can! This excuse of lack of funds is really inexistent and if it is really the case, then once again it is rather a case of incompetency in football management(once again).
Personally I feel Nigerians and Africa deserve an end to this ‘amateurish’ way of operations from all sides! The fans deserve to be spared these useless power struggles etc instead of working together to beat opponents we are busy digging our own grave and if we do not settle these in-fighting,our opponents, though less endowed, could overpower us and qualify for Brazil 2014, Kenya was a warning and co-incidentally they are our next opponents as the World cup qualifiers progresses in June, we are warned!