What’s The Hold up on Keshi?

The drama surrounding the long-running negotiations between the Nigeria Football Federation and Stephen Keshi, the coaching candidate for the Super Eagles, is unprecedented in the history of football-contract negotiations anywhere in the world.

Since both parties indicated interest in working together again we have been regaled in the media with varying statements and positions by both sides. Now, we don’t seem to know what to believe.

From a recent telephone conversation with Keshi I got the impression that he is ready for the job. I also got to know that I am not to believe certain statements attributed to him in some sections of the media.

The impression was that after the announcement of a new contract following the Eagles’ game against Uganda in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital last month, the chapter on negotiations would be closed.

But here we are weeks later and the impasse still continues.

Some folks claim that the NFF administration is seeking feelers from the Muhammadu Buhari administration on Keshi as its pick. If true, that would be sad because the Federation should act independently on this matter according to FIFA statutes.

But if the matter drags on beyond the end of this month that would lend credence to this train of thought.

Allowing this matter to continue into May, leaves the next Eagles coach very little scouting and preparation time for the crucial African Cup of Nations qualifying game in June.

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Ben Edokpayi

Ben Edokpayi is a strategic communications consultant with more than 25 years experience in the USA and Nigeria. His most recent corporate assignment was as Media Relations Officer with the California State Compensation Insurance Fund.

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