Stephen Keshi sought to leave Nigeria despite guiding them to the Africa Cup of Nations title because of government interference in his job, head of the country’s Senate David Mark said on Wednesday.
One day after guiding Nigeria to their third Nations Cup title, Keshi stepped down, saying federation officials had threatened to fire him just before the team’s quarter-final clash against Ivory Coast. He reversed his decision one day later.
However, Mark told reporters Keshi resigned from his post after Nigerian sports minister Bolaji Abdullahiinformed him that they would appoint a foreign coach to lead the team to next year’s World Cup and that Keshi should cooperate with him.
“I spoke with Stephen Keshi this morning and he confirmed to me that he actually said that he has resigned. He said the reason is because there was too much interference even before the final match on Sunday,” Mark was quoted as saying by Nigerian media.
“There was a lot of pressure on him that he must accept foreign technical adviser and this he is opposed to because he thinks that all that we need is in this country. That there are Nigerians who can work with him and he doesn’t see the gain in bringing foreigners.
“We should prevail on him not to resign and also that the Sports Ministry or the administrators must give him the free hand to bring us the result that we want. People believe that we are great but we must show them that we can do it not by words but by actions.”
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