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Keshi says resignation not yet formal

BRASÍLIA (AFP) – Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said Tuesday that he was “shocked” by reports that he has resigned after his side’s World Cup defeat.

Keshi, whose side lost to France in the last 16, insisted that nothing has been decided.

“What I said to my players was that this was maybe my last match at the helm of affairs in the national team, because my contract terminates with the World Cup and I have not been offered a new one,” the 52-year-old explained late Tuesday.

“I was a bit shocked that the global media went to town to say I have called it quits with the national team. Resignations are not done on the pages of newspapers, but formally.”

Stephen Keshi
Stephen Keshi

Keshi’s comments were released by the Nigerian team’s media officier, Ben Alaiya.

Keshi did say that several countries have expressed interest in employing him after Nigeria, including South Africa, which he suggested was positive for Nigerian football and their coaches.

Asked about his next job move before Nigeria’s closing first round game against Argentina he replied: “I’ve had a lot of interest from other countries, South Africa is one of them.

“I cannot confirm it, I’m thinking now about this game, one of the most important in my career.”

Keshi, who captained his country at the 1994 World Cup, took charge of Nigeria in 2011.

Last year he masterminded their triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

He tendered his resignation after that tournament but it was rejected by the Nigerian Football Federation, reports said.

Keshi paid tribute to his team captain, veteran defender Joseph Yobo, who has announced his retirement from international football after becoming the first Super Eagle to reach the 100 cap milestone.

“Congratulations to Joseph Yobo on his 100 caps,” he wrote on twitter.

“He has served Nigeria well. On his retirement, I wish him success in future endeavors.”


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