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AFCON: LEAVE KESHI ALONE, GAIYA TELLS MINISTER

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AFCON: Leave Keshi Alone, Gaiya Tells Minister
Mon, 27/08/2012 ? 2:12am | SALIFU USMAN Football Sports

Chairman House of Representative committee on sport, Hon Geoffrey Aliyu Gaiya has called on the sports minister Bolaji Abdullahi not to put Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi under pressure as he rebuilds the national team. He decried statement credited to him stating that Keshi must win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa or face sack.

But the minister has denied ever making such sack threat against Keshi if Nigeria fails to make it to the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa and 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Speaking to journalists on Thursday after inaugurating the Visitation panel to re-engineer the National Institute of Sports, (NIS), he said he never asked that Keshi be sacked if he fails to win 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.

Gaiya was reacting to the recent media uproar where the Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) was quoted to have threatened to sack the coach if Nigeria fails to win the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa and qualify for 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Gaiya said the threat was uncalled for ahead of the team?s crucial and final round Nations Cup qualifier match against the Lone Stars of Liberia next month in Monrovia.

He said keshi is quite aware of the desire of Nigerians and he should be left alone to do his job rather than pile pressure on him which will be counterproductive. ?Every Nigerian is eager and hoping that Super Eagles qualify for the next Nations Cup and the coach is quite aware of their desires. So, he should be left alone and given the free hand to concentrate on his job as a coach without any form of distraction from any quarter or anybody. The contract Keshi signed with the Nigeria Football federation (NFF) was clearly spelt out and I don?t think there is anywhere in the contract that states the coach will be sack if he fails to Nations Cup.?

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