[News] Stephen Keshi signs new contract as Nigeria coach

Stephen Keshi signed a two-year
contract to continue as head coach of Nigeria on
Tuesday, calling it “a new page” after a
tumultuous story so far that has seen him guide
the country to the African title, resign, return,
get fired and then be reinstated. Keshi and the Nigerian Football Federation
agreed the new deal after lengthy negotiations,
putting Keshi back in charge ahead of the start
of 2017 African Cup qualifiers in June and 2018
World Cup qualifiers later in the year. Nigeria, the African champion in 2013, needs to
bounce back after failing to qualify to defend its
title at this year’s continental championship. “This job is too big for Keshi alone. It has to be a
collective effort. We have to team up to do this,”
Keshi said. Keshi and the federation haven’t always
worked smoothly together before, though. A day after guiding Nigeria to its first
continental title in 19 years in South Africa in
2013, Keshi said he had resigned, blaming
federation officials for trying to oust him from
his job earlier in the tournament. He rescinded
his resignation. Last year, he took Nigeria to the second round
of the World Cup, but was later fired as Nigeria
failed to make the 2015 African Cup. His short-
term replacement said Keshi was still the best
man for the job and he returned on a game-by-
game deal. Keshi has also complained and threatened to leave over his wages not being
paid on time, and reportedly called the initial
terms he was offered by the NFF to continue as
coach “a slave contract.” “This is a new page in Nigerian football and
what happened in the past has happened,”
Keshi said Tuesday as he was presented to
media. “I have what it takes to take the country
forward.” The 53-year-old Keshi is a former Nigerian
captain and defender and won the African Cup
of Nations as a player in 1994. Two years ago
he became the first black African coach to win
the Cup of Nations in two decades and only the
second man ever to win it as a player and a coach. This contract will take him through the
2017 African Cup of Nations. “We have absolute and undiluted confidence in
Stephen Keshi to take Nigerian football to new
heights,” federation vice president Felix Anyansi
Agwu said.

Stephen Keshi signed a two-year
contract to continue as head coach of Nigeria on
Tuesday, calling it “a new page” after a
tumultuous story so far that has seen him guide
the country to the African title, resign, return,
get fired and then be reinstated. Keshi and the Nigerian Football Federation
agreed the new deal after lengthy negotiations,
putting Keshi back in charge ahead of the start
of 2017 African Cup qualifiers in June and 2018
World Cup qualifiers later in the year. Nigeria, the African champion in 2013, needs to
bounce back after failing to qualify to defend its
title at this year’s continental championship. “This job is too big for Keshi alone. It has to be a
collective effort. We have to team up to do this,”
Keshi said. Keshi and the federation haven’t always
worked smoothly together before, though. A day after guiding Nigeria to its first
continental title in 19 years in South Africa in
2013, Keshi said he had resigned, blaming
federation officials for trying to oust him from
his job earlier in the tournament. He rescinded
his resignation. Last year, he took Nigeria to the second round
of the World Cup, but was later fired as Nigeria
failed to make the 2015 African Cup. His short-
term replacement said Keshi was still the best
man for the job and he returned on a game-by-
game deal. Keshi has also complained and threatened to leave over his wages not being
paid on time, and reportedly called the initial
terms he was offered by the NFF to continue as
coach “a slave contract.” “This is a new page in Nigerian football and
what happened in the past has happened,”
Keshi said Tuesday as he was presented to
media. “I have what it takes to take the country
forward.” The 53-year-old Keshi is a former Nigerian
captain and defender and won the African Cup
of Nations as a player in 1994. Two years ago
he became the first black African coach to win
the Cup of Nations in two decades and only the
second man ever to win it as a player and a coach. This contract will take him through the
2017 African Cup of Nations. “We have absolute and undiluted confidence in
Stephen Keshi to take Nigerian football to new
heights,” federation vice president Felix Anyansi
Agwu said.

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