Nigeria federation: Keshi will honor 2-year contract
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Nigeria Football Federation said it has been assured that coach Stephen Keshi will honor his two-year contract despite being named as a candidate to take charge of African champion Ivory Coast.
The NFF said Keshi, who signed a new contract in April, is “very happy” with his job in Nigeria.
Keshi was on a list of more than 50 candidates published recently by the Ivorian federation to take over from Frenchman Herve Renard.
But in a weekend statement, the NFF said Keshi’s manager, Emmanuel Addo, had given assurances that “as a professional, he (Keshi) will see out his contract.”
Keshi coached Nigeria to the 2013 African Cup of Nations title, but has had a turbulent time in charge. He resigned in 2013 and was fired last year. He was reinstated both times.
Keshi’s success in leading Africa’s most populous country to its first continental title in 19 years, and into the second round at the World Cup in Brazil, was tempered when Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 African Cup to defend that title.
Keshi, a former national-team captain, went through a long contract negotiation process before agreeing to a new deal two months ago. He had previously been critical of the NFF for the way it treated him but still agreed to return.
Addo said Keshi was pleased to be considered as a candidate by Ivory Coast but would be staying with Nigeria, with the 2017 African Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifying competitions ahead.
Addo didn’t say if Keshi had applied for the Ivorian job amid reports that the NFF was investigating if Keshi approached the Ivory Coast federation.
The NFF also announced that goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama will appear at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday after questioning the national federation’s decision to hold a recent World Cup qualifying game against Chad in the northern city of Kaduna.
Enyeama, who plays for French club Lille, made “uncomplimentary remarks” regarding safety and security in Kaduna, the NFF said. He also failed to reply to messages from the NFF seeking an explanation for his comments.
Nigeria won the June 13 game 2-0 to open its World Cup qualifying campaign.