Don’t crucify Keshi as NFF set-up is faulty – Onigbinde tells Nigerians

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Former member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee, Festus Onigbinde has declared that Nigerians have been unnecessarily too hard on Coach Stephen Keshi over the Super Eagles failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea next year.

Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi
Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi

In a chat with media, Onigbinde said Keshi should not be singled out as only culprit, who should take the blame alone as Nigeria Football Federation also stand culpable.

“I know Keshi very well. He has his good and otherwise attributes as a coach. But it is wrong for anybody to put the blame on Keshi. It should be on our football administrative set up. The whole set up is wrong and faulty”, Onigbibnde blasted.

Onigbinde denied asking Keshi to quit the Eagles job but clarified that what he told the Coach was to study the situation critically to make informed decision.

“Firstly I will tell you sincerely as a very close friend that I was misquoted by the reporter who wrote that story. When I heard that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered Keshi to be retained as Eagles’ chief Coach, I then sent him a text message to advise him on the issue.

“I sent him a text messageadvising him to thank Mr. President for the gesture and politely beg to decline the job.

“To me, it would be very difficult for Keshi to succeed on the job since the Nigeria Football Federation has once sacked him before President Jonathan’s order.

Keshi was still going to work with the present NFF administration that first sacked him and as the relationship has already been soured, it would be difficult for him.

“This is what I told him as a concerned colleague in the coaching business. I didn’t tell him to quit for failing as a Coach,” he concluded.

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