Stephen Keshi Set To Sign New Nigeria Contract

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

After months of speculation and signs that the Super Eagles seemed destined to part ways with Stephen Keshi as the two could not come to an agreement, a complete U-turn has seen the former Togo and Mali coach closing in on signing a new contract to continue his work with the Nigeria national team.

Keshi has been out of contract with the Super Eagles since the team was knocked out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the second round by France. He has continued to work with the national team on a game by game basis, due to intervention from the country’s sports minister Tammy Danagogo.

His former assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi has also played a role as stand-in coach at times, including recently when he called up the squad for friendlies against Uganda and South Africa.

The Super Eagles lost 1-0 to Uganda in their match on Wednesday night in Uyo, and if he signs Keshi could be reinstated officially as full time coach ahead of Sunday’s encounter with South Africa, which is somewhat of a grudge match following Bafana Bafana’s part in Nigeria’s failure to reach the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea, where they were supposed to defend their 2013 title.

Bafana drew both games with the Super Eagles, contributing to their fall from grace in qualification.

Keshi has been at the centre of a push and pull saga at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), where it was unclear whether he would return due to what he termed a ‘slave contract’ being offered to him some weeks ago, and too much interference in the make-up of his technical team.

At a stage it even seemed possible that Keshi would accept an offer to coach the Burkina Faso national team, but that opportunity passed by and now the Big Boss seems closr to an attempt at reigniting the fortunes of the Super Eagles that he shepherded to AFCON victory in 2013.

If the 53-year-old returns to the Super Eagles fold he does so in time to prepare his side for 2017 AFCON qualifiers, which begin in June, as well as the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign, which kicks off for Africa in October.

 

VIDEO: Stephen Keshi Team Talk At Training With The Super Eagles In 2013 (Courtesy of Super Eagles Channel on YouTube)