Former Nigeria international, Christian Chukwu, has expressed his support for the removal of Stephen Keshi as coach of the national football team.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced the termination of Keshi’s contract on Saturday, only weeks into his two-year contract.
The NFF claimed that Keshi was not committed enough to remain as coach of the Super Eagles.
On his part, Chukwu, who was coach of the Nigerian team that finished third at the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, said the NFF had the right to sack a coach if it thought he was not the man for the job.
“Honestly, I think the NFF is right on this, from day one, it was obvious the federation did not really want to work with Keshi and one could read it easily from their body language,” he said, adding, “Coaching job is all about hiring and firing and I hope Keshi will take it in good faith.”
Chukwu, who like Keshi was captain of the national team in his playing days, said, “When Keshi was re-appointed it seemed the NFF’s hands were tied. The proper thing for him to (have done he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for AFCON 2015) was to throw in the towel. If the NFF wanted him back, then they could ask him to come back. It happened to Samson Siasia then, and now he is back.”
Chukwu also told Goal.com that Keshi turned down his advice to bow out honourably, explained that if he had quit that time, “he wouldn’t have been sacked now. When I saw the handwriting on the wall then, I properly advised him to resign but did not heed the advice then.
“What I am advising the Nigeria Football Federation is to put in the machinery that won’t create any vacuum because of the sack of Keshi, which, I believe they have done, pending a substantive coach is named.
“From what I read in the dailies coaches Shuaibu Amodu and Salisu Yussuf would act in caretaker capacity, maybe the NFF has something bigger coming up. They may employ another coach on a full scale.
“Whether the NFF opts for a foreign coach or local one, I believe that coaches are the same all over the world. You can remember that I was a foreign coach too. I acted as one in Kenya and other places.
“The most important thing is what the coach is bringing to the team for the team to continue to improve, develop and, later, be ranked among the best in world football. Whether it is a black man or a white man, what he brings to the table is what matters most,” he said.