Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Sani Lulu Abduallahi has supported Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi for turning down a request by the executive committee of the NFF asking him to choose an assistant foreign coach of his choice for the forthcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup.
He made the assertion in an exclusive telephone chat that what Keshi did remains the best step for a coach that knows his onions. He described the request as a Greek gift .The request was misplaced. In short it was uncalled for. He commended Keshi for his focus and resolve since he took up the national assignment. The move to bring in a foreign hand this eleventh hour was a ploy by those that muted the idea to undermine the coaches.
Abdullahi noted that for no just cause Slyvanus Okpala was sacked by the same people that now clamour for an additional hand in the technical bench of the Eagles. He described the request as an ill- wind, irony and the refusal by Keshi not to have anything to do with such move further exposed those behind it as saboteurs of the first order.
‘This has brought out their long held hidden agenda. The truth remains that they did not find any shortfall from the coach hence they went begging him to choose any one of his choice. It would not have been so if the coach and his crew were under performing. This also confirmed rumours that have been making the round since the 2013 AFCON that they wanted to hire a foreign coach. It instantly kissed the dust. It will continue to suffer setbacks because it lacks logic and merit,’ he said.
He further argued that if their motive was not ulterior enough why did they not accepted Keshi‘s suggestion to bring back Okpala. The assistant coach they unceremoniously relieved of his position because he stood his ground professionally on what would enhance the national than the parochial view of certain members of the technical committee and board that acted
against him. It was learnt that Keshi told them point blank that if he needs an assistant that should be Okpala. The NFF bigwigs turned it down but sadly preferred a foreigner. That is the kind of people our football has been in their hands. Now Nigerians know better, he chronicled.
The football administrator therefore called on Nigerians to rally round Keshi and the lads, ask questions on anything that tends to derail our high hopes for the 2014 World Cup tournament. According to him the acrimony the turning down of foreign assistant by Keshi has breed between the NFF top shots that have interest in the project will start manifesting as the build up for the World Cup mounts and Nigerian must be at alert to call them to order.
‘What Keshi and his players need most now is total concentration and cooperation from all and sundry so that our preparations would be solid and total not divided loyalty. The crew and the team must be unconditionally supported. The crew has proved its capacity on the job. There should be no distractions whatsoever,’ he appealed.