House of Representatives Committee on Sports has asked the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to discontinue the ongoing contract negotiation with Stephen Keshi, urging the coach to forget coaching the national team again.
House Committee Chairman, Godfrey Gaiya, stated the position of the House, which he said was in agreement with majority view of football loving Nigerians.
Speaking at Tuesday’s stalled NFF budget defence, Gaiya observed that despite Keshi’s dismal performances in his last 14 games in charge, the NFF was still dilly dallying on what position to take on Keshi, stressing that renewing his contract would be catastrophic.
Gaiya said that the body language of the federation suggests that “Keshi is not wanted” and wondered why the NFF lacks the courage to disontinue the ongoing deal.
“It is obvious that the NFF does not support the quest for Keshi to continue as Super Eagles coach. The average Nigerian believe too that Keshi has done his best and it is time for him to take a bow.
“My committee members believe that even when he has done his best, he should quit now. You will agree with me that in the last 14 matches he executed as Super Eagles coach, the results have been a dismal failure.
“I do not think as a committee that we can sit back here and watch the fortune of our national team go in tatters because somebody somewhere is not willing to do what is right.
“If the NFF lacks the will to tell Keshi to go; that they don’t need him again, they should bring him before our committee so that we can tell him to his face,” said Gaya .
He said Nigerians are tired praying “that God may help Keshi to get another offer and set the country free,” adding that no nation would toy with her prized asset as is currently happening with the Super Eagles.
“Today we read reports that Keshi has been given 10 days ultimatum to accept his contract, I do not see any reason why an employer who is supposed to be a boss should give him ultimatum to somebody he wants to employ.
“After the Nations Cup, we have seen national teams that immediately fired their coaches; why not do same to the one who could not qualify us for the Nations Cup. A coach is as good as his last match. So as a committee, we want to protect the national team.
“I have records of the utterances of Keshi. He does not respect the NFF. So how would the working relationship be like if he is eventually employed? We don’t believe that, bringing him would not solve any problem in Nigerian football. We need the NFF to be firm and decisive on the issues concerning Keshi’s contract. We have done it for you when you had leadership issues, we can as well help you and do the needful and tell him to go. “So if you are handicapped, tell us we will summon him and tell him the decision of Nigerians. That he should go, and if he refuses, let’s see how he can employ and pay himself.”
Responding to the committee’s assertions, NFF Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi, noted that the issue of Keshi had been part of the crisis rocking Nigerian football, suggesting that Keshi’s is part of effort by the federation to stabilise the fledgling NFF leadership
He disclosed that the NFF technical committee and legal team would be meeting with Keshi’s team today to discuss the grey areas of his contract, adding the NFF board would meet in a fortnight to take a final decision on the lingering issue.