- Last Updated on 11 February 2013
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Reports of the resignation of Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, less than a day after winning the 29th African Cup of Nations (AFCON), have been received with sadness by Nigeria fans.
“I did what I feel is right by resigning,” Keshi told Metro FM. “I gave the NFF a letter last night [Sunday] after the celebrations.”
According to the radio station, Keshi claimed to have been sacked before the quarter-final encounter with Cote d’Ivoire because NFF officials concluded that the Eagles had lost the match even before a ball was kicked, and went ahead to book a return plane to Nigeria.
He claimed, too, that it was after the semi-final that he got wind of NFF’s plan but he dismissed it so that the team could concentrate on the final.
One of the fans who spoke to Huhuonline.com lamented that keshi’s resignation is coming at a time when the country should be savouring the joy of Sunday’s monumental triumph.
“This is sad”, he said. “We should be celebrating, not destroying what we have built. I hope everything is resolved very soon.”
Though the news has been denied by Emeka Inyanma of the NFF, it was unofficially confirmed by some staff of the Sports Ministry, who further said the sports management in the country is making efforts to manage the situation because of the embarrassment it is likely to engender..
SuperSports presenter, Robert Marawa, also confirmed that Keshi disclosed he was quitting the position of coach, a report that has left many wondering why the coach would resign after leading the country to victory.
But Huhuonline.com learnt that Keshi was pissed off by the intrigues that followed earlier disappointing performances of the team at the beginning of the tournament.
According to a source in the NFF, while Keshi battled to lead the country to victory, officials of the NFF busied themselves with meetings on how to replace him should the team perform poorly.
"Keshi got wind of this and has now decided that since his employers don't have confidence in him, he would leave now that he has embarrassed them with excellent performance against their expectation.
"The Sports Ministry is not finding it funny and has been pleading with him and thinking of a way out because it means Nigeria would have to start afresh instead of consolidating on what we have currently," the source said disclosing that some African countries are already struggling to appoint Keshi to head their teams.
The Sports Ministry and the NFF are yet to come out with a statement on the true position, but Inyanma says as far as the NFF is concerned, Keshi still remains coach and has not resigned.
Meanwhile, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their victory over Burkina-Faso, in the final match of the tournament.
Omeri thanked the Super Eagles for doing the country proud in South Africa, saying the victory was achieved with our collective efforts.
“Nigeria could not have achieved this feat if we did not do the right thing,” he said.
“The biggest point to note from this is that with the support of all Nigerians, positive development will always come our way. We did not just sit down and wished that we win the trophy, the government, the team, the head coach, all played their part. Everybody did the right thing for us to be happy today.”
The agency, in partnership with the National Sports Commission (NSC), had organised a public viewing centre at the National Stadium, Abuja, to enable sport-loving Nigerians watch the finals.
Omeri advised the Eagles to maintain the momentum and continue doing the country proud in future tournaments. He also called on Nigerians to be supportive and positive to the team at all times