Nigeria could begin 2015 Afcon qualifiers with caretaker coach

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The Super Eagles could be led by a caretaker coach when they begin their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying run against Rwanda next month, with the contract negotiations for the Nigeria coaching job still ongoing.
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The NFF is in talks with coach Stephen Keshi to continue in his role but expects that it might take a few weeks for everything to be concluded.

Keshi, 52, who took over the manager’s position in late 2011 saw his contract come to an end after the World Cup where he led the team to a second round finish. He also won the 2013 Afcon title in South Africa.

However, he is keen to have details of his previous contract amended in order to have access to an official residence, official car and the ability to bring back former assistant coach Sylvanus Okpala. He has also spoken about having his Togolese assistant Valere Houandinou get on the NFF’s payroll after having endured paying the trainer from his pocket.

Keshi also expects an increase of his salary from Five million Naira per month to 10 million. Indications have emerged that the Federation is willing to pay Seven million Naira even though the coach was owed pay up to seven months in 2013.

These are issues that need to be sorted out before he signs a new contract with the national team and it could delay preparation for the 2015 Afcon qualifiers where Nigeria have been drawn in Group A alongside South Africa, Rwanda and Sudan.

“I want to say that we are on track with our negotiations and Keshi is also enthusiastic to coach the Super Eagles again and that is why we sent him our notice of intent last week and by Monday this week he responded positively,” NFF board member Deji Tinubu was quoted by Vanguard.

“Very soon we will send him the proposal that will contain his salary. As we speak, all that you have been reading about salary are mere rumours. What we want everybody to realize is that you don’t have to force negotiations, we have to be careful so as to eliminate the defects of the earlier contract.

“For now we have not selected coaches that will hold the team in an interim capacity but very soon we will be coming out with an arrangement just in case we were not able to conclude with Keshi before September 6 because that match is very important to us as a federation and we must play it regardless of who is in charge,” he said.

The NFF will hope to resolve the contract impasse before distractions of its impending general elections that will come up on August 26.

The Super Eagles will begin their campaign against the Amavubi at home next month as they hope to defend their title in Morocco in 2015.

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