SIASIA RAISES ALARM OVER EAGLES JOB
Samson Siasia has sensationally alleged that next week's interview for the vacant Nigeria coaching position has already been stage managed in favour of his rival for the job, Stephen Keshi.
Siasia and Keshi have been shortlisted for the Super Eagles top job and are scheduled to be grilled by the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday. However, former Olympic team coach Siasia according to MTNFootball.com that the interview has been pre-arranged for Keshi to get the job ahead of him.
'I have been told and I have received many calls informing me that they have already concluded plans to give the job to Keshi, while they want me to assist him. But I don't believe such because I believe that there are men of integrity on the board now who won't allow themselves to be used,' Siasia said.
'If they believe that Keshi can do a good job for them, let them pick him. But it would be unfair to conclude without interviewing the two coaches. 'What the coaches have done in the past and most especially as regards the home front is crucial. I mean knowing the local players well as well as the ones who are in the national team now. There mustn't be sentiments as regards this issue in the interest of football in the country.'
An obviously angry Siasia continued: 'To choose the right person, their achievements with the national teams, their sacrifice for this country and the coach who produced the majority of the players who are playing for the Super Eagles now should be taken into consideration. 'It is very important to know who of the two coaches has a better understanding of these players in the Eagles right now.
'And not that they should just hand over the job to somebody on sentiments.'
The 42-year-old Siasia maintained he would not assist Keshi with the Super Eagles.
'I don't want to assist Keshi that is for sure. We are friends. I believe this is my time to handle the Eagles job because I have handled the age-grade national teams and I believe I am more grounded and knowledgeable about Nigerian soccer and the players to be able to do a very good job with the national team.
'I know all these players. I have been in Nigeria for some years now coaching Nigerian teams. I know Nigerian players better than Keshi.
'I am not going to assist Keshi. If they want to give him the job, they should give him the job. I am not going to assist him. This time around I think it is my time to coach the Super Eagles, but if the powers that be at the NFF think otherwise, then let them satisfy their conscience.
'With all humility I would ask, who stands a better chance to handle the team if everything needed to do the job is well considered? I handled the team from 2005 in the U-20 World Cup to the 2008 Beijing, China Olympics and I'm still in the country handling a local club after handling two in the past should be a good yard stick for me to get this job on merit.'
Siasia admitted he had second thoughts about the interview because the NFF had already started negotiating with him for the top post. 'Initially, I was against this interview since I had already discussed with the board, but it would be very unfair for the job to be given out without conducting the interview,' he now said on hindsight.
'Sincerely speaking, I will be disappointed if I don't get the job. If they believe I am not good enough because of sentiments, then so be it.
'I have made up my mind to bring positive change to the national team. I want to make the team a pride to Africa and the world with the support of everybody and most especially Almighty God. So, anybody who is against that should then know that he is against the progress of the team,' Siasia summed up.