‘For best results, NFF should allow Keshi a free hand’

Steven Keshi

Steven Keshi

SUPPORT aplenty appears to be coming to Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, from his professional colleagues, who are vehemently opposed to him having his team list vetted by his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The Federation President, Mr. Aminu Maigari recently disclosed in an interview that Keshi would no longer be solely responsible for selecting the Super Eagles’ squad.

Bringing into perspective the team’s outing at the recently concluded FIFA Confederation’s Cup, he said, “the Confederations Cup is a big tournament and that’s why the other teams brought their best players…Spain brought their best players, but we did not. Why would you bring a local player to play Spain at such a big stage?

He described the situation as “unacceptable,” stressing that “we have experienced players that were not selected and this is where we have to step in. The coach should not have the sole responsibility on squad selection. We all have to make inputs. This team belongs to 165 million people. Selections should affect all these people so we cannot continue to let this happen because we need to compete well with others.”

But Ikhana, who coached Enyimba of Aba and Kwara United Football Club, is of the opinion that Keshi should be allowed free rein to implement his programmes. In an interview with The Guardian, he deplored the seeming perennial rancour between the FA and Keshi in the recent past, cautioning that if it persists, immense energy would be spent on the spat than achieving set goals and objectives.

Insisting that no coach worth his salt would take a job with the intent of failing in his assignment, he maintained that Keshi’s strides so far should convince his employers that he was still strengthening the team’s foundation.

The Guardian Nigeria