Sports journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, believes that the reinstatement of Stephen Keshi as the Coach of the Super Eagles, makes Nigeria’s football and general sports administration look like a joke in the eyes of the world.
“You sacked a coach, the person whom you brought to replace him made an appeal to bring back the person he’s replacing.
“We also have words that Giwa, as one of the conditions for withdrawing his petition, said that Keshi must be brought back, whereas the new NFF board, the Amaju Pinnick board, had said they were going to look into getting somebody else,” he said, while condemning the seemingly inconsistent management of the country’s football.
He said that the whole problem started because of “orders from above which FIFA did not approve of”.
In reaction to the argument that the appeal by Coach Shaibu Amodu for the reinstatement of Keshi was logical because of the time constraint he had to make much impact on the team, Obanya said that the appeal would have made more sense if it was made immediately after his appointment as the interim coach and not two weeks after.
“The problem now is that Keshi has begun to overstep his boundaries. For example, Coordinator of Footballing Affairs, Emmanuel Attah, was replaced with Garba Lawal, and Keshi came back and said he can’t wok with him, he has to go.
“Yes Garba Lawal has been a critic of Keshi but I don’t think its Keshi’s place to decide. The same thing with the Media Officer; Ben Alaiya has been replaced by Toyin Ibitoye and that too has been reversed.
“Keshi has left the realm of building the team, getting the boys ready for matches, deciding on what fitness regimes to use and what tactics and is now dabbling into things that are beyond him. Then you begin to sense that perhaps he knows he has more authority than he should have.
“Its just funny because all these mess started because of ‘orders from above’ and we are back here again,” he said.
He wondered if Keshi would be retained if Nigeria gets lucky to qualify for the Nations’ Cup after the two AFCON qualifying matches, for which he was reinstated, are played.
Obanya predicts the start of another round of problems. “The drama is just beginning, this is just a tip of the iceberg.”
Mr Obanya was a Thursday guest of the award winning breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Channels Television.