By Onochie Anibeze
Nigeria’s coach, Shaibu Amodu, addressed the press in Angola, yesterday, and said that he would prefer to work with Mali’s coach Stephen Keshi than a foreign coach.


He was referring to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Keshi was Nigeria’s captain and together with Amodu and Joe Erico, he qualified Nigeria for the Korea-Japan World Cup. He later qualified Togo for the 2006 World Cup and later took up the national team job in Mali.
There have been talks on foreign coach to lead Nigeria to the World Cup.

We scooped on January 1, this year in SportsVanguard, our red- hot Friday sports pullout that Keshi or the Zambian coach, Herve Renard, was being considered. But after Amodu’s team beat Zambia Monday night, the Nigerian coach said there was nothing fantastic in the French man and that he would prefer to work “with one of our own.”

Said he: “I have gone through pains and humiliation coaching the Nigerian team. I have faced very harsh criticisms, derided and ridiculed. Yet, we have continued to win. We may not be playing to the expectations of many. |

We may not be as exciting as people expected. But we have been winning our games and, today, we are among the last four in Africa. And we have a chance to be in the final and who knows what will happen?   But I’m still classed as nobody.

Does it mean there’s nothing good in a black man? What extraordinary thing has the Mozambican coach that they were talking about done? We beat his team. Then the issue of the Zambian coach came up. I have beaten him too.

Gentlemen, I prefer to work with Keshi than a white mercenary who may not know what Keshi knows about our football. If they want another person, let that person be our own, not a foreigner who may not offer much to our football within few months.”

The Football Federation said last night that Amodu had not officially made a request for Keshi and that would be considered if he did.
“If that will help, why not,” a top member of the federation told us from Angola. Keshi was yet to be contacted by Amodu or the federation as at last night.

“When they make the offer I will consider it. I have worked with Amodu before and we can still do great things again. But I will prefer that you hold on until they contact me first.

There are offers on the table for me and I want to weigh things before taking a decision. Even in Mali here, they are saying that I must stay,” Keshi said from Mali, adding “But I know that for the World Cup, things can be worked out.”


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