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Why Keshi's contract renewal is being delayed

By The Rainbow
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Out of contract Super Eagles Coach Mr Stephen Okechukwu Keshi may not get his contract renewed till after the presidential elections come March 28, The Rainbow has learnt.

A source who has scored more than 90 per cent accuracy in matters concerning the Nigerian Football Federation, told our correspondent that the football house was bidding for time to know the way the general elections would go before making final decision on the fate of Keshi.

The source said, “You see, it is obvious most members of the NFF, like most Nigerians do not want Keshi for now. They feel constrained by the fact that it was the presidency which requested he be pbrought back before the final AFCON qualifier against South Africa.

What the NFF has decided to do is bid for time. If Jonathan is re-elected, Keshi gets a new contract. Eventhough it is not as if the presidency has put its feet down that it must be Keshi, the NFF thinks it will be better to gain the confidence of the presidency. However, in the unlikely event that new man comes on saddle, then you know that Keshi is as good as fired. But the irony of the whole scenario is that the Nigerin football is the loser for it all. While other national teams already readying for both World Cup and next AFCON qualifiers, Nigeria is still bickering over who becomes the national team coach.”

According to source, it is difficult to understand why Keshi is still hanging on to getting this job, when it is obvious that his employers no longer really want him.

In related development, reports that  Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi had tried to parry questions surrounding the contract of the coach.

Akinwunmi, who is the 1st vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation, refused to be drawn into making definite comments on the future of coach Stephen Keshi when he spoke to media in Lagos.

While the NFF said it has prepared a contract for the 53-year-old that led the Super Eagles to the Round of 16 at the World Cup last June, information emerged last week that Keshi is in a three-man short-list for the job of the Burkina Faso national team coach.

“I think journalists should please take time [out] with the issue of Keshi, don't let us drag this Keshi issue, we shall announce a coach very soon,” Akinwunmi said.

“Keshi today, Keshi tomorrow, we should please leave the man alone and let him rest. Keshi's issue is on the table and we are on it,” he was quoted to have in the partnershi

According to,  Keshi has divided a lot of opinions, with 67 per cent of Goal readers stating in a recent poll that he should not be given a new contract by the NFF, there is a decent crop of people who think he deserves to return as the Super Eagles coach.

While the NFF continues to drag its foot, former national team coach Christian Chukwu has told Goal that there seems to be a hidden agenda to frustrate the Africa Cup of Nations-winning manager.

Chukwu said that it would be a good move for Keshi if he heads over to train the Stallions while Nigeria would have lost a good talent.

“That will be a very great move for him while the country will be the loser,” Chukwu told Goal in an interview that would be published on Saturday.

“I think the Nigeria Football Federation doesn't want him because if they do, he should have been given a contract by now.”

Keshi's contract ran out at the end of the 2014 World Cup but it was not renewed which meant he worked without a contract during the failed campaign by the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea.

He was relieved of his job during that campaign after managing to win only one out of four opening matches but was recalled to lead the remaining qualifiers.

Former coach Shaibu Amodu and ex-player Jonathan Akpoborie have asked the NFF not to give Keshi the job.

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