Thursday, 16 October 2014

Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach.


Amodu Shaibu, who has enjoyed four spells in charge of the Super Eagles, will lead an interim consortium of local coaches as the new head of the national team to replace Keshi and his assistants Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu. Shaibu will handle the team’s remaining Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches until a replacement is found.

Keshi’s job had come under intense scrutiny since the start of the qualifiers in September following a 3-2 defeat to Congo at home before picking one point in a draw against South Africa in Cape Town.

A further defeat in Khartoum to Sudan made his tenure look like coming to an inglorious end after a fairytale year in which he led the Super Eagles to victory at the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.

The chances of defending their title in Morocco were looking bleak until Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja restored a glimmer of hope but it was not enough to save Keshi's job.

Keshi had also become embroiled in fights over players, with Villareal striker Ikechukwu Uche being accused of wanting to be begged to play for the country. However, the player denied the allegations.

The Nigeria Football Federation's statement also announced the hiring of Samson Siasia as the nation's Under-23s boss. He returns to the side whom he led to an Olympic silver medal at the Beijing games in 2008 and will be assisted by Fatai Amoo.

Keshi, 52, led Nigeria to their third African title last year, becoming only the second person to win the trophy as a player and coach. He also took the team to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Brazil as they equalled their best ever run in that tournament.

He will be remembered for bringing into limelight several unknown players from the local league who have become heroes of the Nigerian game. However, he was also accused of favouritism by taking largely untested players to the World Cup and ignoring more experienced campaigners.

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