Port Harcourt – Tammy Danagogo, former Minister of Sports, on Thursday said that the sack of former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, was a wrong move.
Danagogo said, in Port Harcourt, that the death of Keshi, was a pathetic loss to Nigeria.
He said as minister, those who wanted Keshi sacked, had no better alternative.
“I worked with Keshi as minister when he was the coach of Super Eagles. To me, his commitment and patriotism is unequal,” he said.
Danagogo said he supported Keshi because of the sincerity he exuded.
“Keshi was a regular player, captain and later coach of the national team. He was enthusiastic to deliver but he had challenges.
“I know the odds he faced. As minister then, those who wanted him out were asking me why I was always supporting Keshi.
“I supported him because he was ready to work for Nigeria even when he was owed arrears of salaries,” he said.
According to Danagogo, as Minister of Sports, he refused Keshi’s sack because those who wanted him out as coach had no better alternative.
“I realised that those who were clamouring to change Keshi, at the point they were clamouring for it, we did not have any local alternative that was better than him.
“He was an exceptional case of talent, commitment and patriotism to the development of Nigerian football even when he was owed three to five months salary arrears,” he said.
Danagogo said he disagreed with those who wanted Keshi out because they did not have solution on who to replace him.
“I asked them, look, who is the local alternative that is better than Keshi. If you convince me, you can change him.
“Now, if you are going for a foreign alternative, can you pay the person when you are not able to pay a local coach,” he said.
“I believe Nigeria has lost one its best in terms of talent, commitment and sacrifice to the development of sports, especially football in the country,” The former minister said.