As the Nigeria Football Federation expects a response from Coach Stephen Keshi over a fresh contract offered him to continue as Super Eagles coach, the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, has declared that Keshi is not indispensable.
The Minister made the declaration in Abuja while responding to questions from members of the Senate Committee on Sports as regards the indispensability or otherwise of Keshi as the Chief coach of the Nigerian National team (the Super Eagles), against the backdrop of his alleged rejection of the fresh contract.
A member of the committee, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had during the budget defence session between the Committee and the Ministry of Sports, asked the Minister why the Ministry and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), were still bent in appointing Keshi as National Coach despite his failure to qualify the Super Eagles for the last Nation’s Cup, a similar failure that led to the sack of Samson Siasia and other coaches who failed with the national team years back.
Danagogo in his response to the question said “the search for Chief coach of the National team was not restricted to Keshi alone but at the moment, he seems to be the one being focused upon by NFF which in fact, has led to a fresh contract offer to him but that did not in any way suggest that Keshi was indispensable.
“Appointing a Chief Coach for the national team is strictly a technical matter that should be looked at on empirical basis and which is directly under the purview of the NFF expected to make the best use of technical staff at its disposal to carry out the exercise.
“Although for now, it is Keshi that has been picked by them but the windows of scouting for the best are still there for them to explore which are not restricted to Keshi”
Responding to a related question, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, denied the rumour making the rounds that Keshi had rejected the fresh contract offered him by declaring that there was no written letter from Keshi to NFF to that effect.
He Said: “For now, as far as the NFF is concerned, Keshi is the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles based on the fresh appointment we offered him to that effect which he has not rejected as wrongly reported in the media.
“Correspondence should not be hear-say, it should be between employer and employee. As the employer of Keshi, NFF has not received any letter from him rejecting the new appointment offered him and on the basis of that, NFF strongly believes that he had accepted the offer and will resume work very soon in view of the serious engagements ahead of the Super Eagles, one of which is the international friendly match with the South African national team coming up on the 29th of this month , preparatory to Nation’s Cup and World Cup qualifiers coming up months ahead”.
He explained that the fresh appointment offered Keshi is largely based upon the template of the former, which gives him N5million as monthly basic salary, official residence here in Abuja and some other entitlements in form of attractive allowances.