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Keshi: South African interest wanes

Before the World Cup, it was almost certain that former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi would not come back to his job with the Nigeria Football Federation.

He walked taller because according to him, there were several tempting and juicy offers on his table to choose from and that of the South African Football Association, SAFA, was almost a certainty. The NFF on their part, were happy that his contract would also come to an end with the World Cup and had no intention of renewing it. They have had so much from Keshi and this time, there

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi

would be no turning back.

As Nigerians watch the unfolding drama at the NFF and Nigerian football, we can reveal that Keshi’s ‘’tempting offers” and the much talked about South African deal may not be after all. There are strong indications that the South African Football Association are on the verge of recruiting Iranian coach, Carlos Queiroz over Keshi and that might leave Keshi floating.

‘’Yeah, Keshi has always been in the books of SAFA as well as Queiroz”, our South African source said yesterday insisting that the pendulum may have finally moved over to Queiroz after what he did with the Iranian team at the on-going World Cup in Brazil.

Iran considered a whipping team in the Group F that comprised South American giants, Argentina and African Champions Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina turned out to be a thorn on the flesh of the teams with Nigeria scrapping a barren draw with them.

Queiroz a veteran and versatile coach had told the world in Brazil that Iranian football was a sleeping giant that was faced with the challenge of waking from this sleep.

And many people believed that the man who once assisted Alex Ferguson in Manchester United had done a good job to bring Iranian football to the front burner to the extent of challenging Argentina until a late goal from Argentine wizard Messi.

‘’Keshi was ahead of other coaches but the table has turned and Queiroz is the man of the moment”, our source said.

Sports Vanguard learnt that issues of money and players’ protests may not be unconnected with the sudden change of heart from South Africans who have been monitoring the chaos that saw players skip one training session in Brazil and threatened not to play France unless their appearance fee was paid even when FIFA had not paid such money.

That made President Gooluck Ebele Jonathan to send Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo to bring money on a Presidential jet to Brazil before the Eagles played France. Nigeria also sent wrong signals to the world before the Confederations cup when the players under Keshi threatened a no show if funds due to them were not paid. Questions are being asked over the roles of team officials if indeed they were the ones stoking the fire through players.


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