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Keshi backtracks on Nigeria quit threat

Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Stephen Keshi has withdrawn his resignation after talking to the country’s sports minister.

Keshi had initially stepped down from his role on Monday having just secured the Afcon trophy less than 24 hours earlier, but the former Nigeria captain has now said he will remain in the role.

“My attention has been drawn to reports in the media that I have resigned my appointment as the head coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria,” he said in a statement.

“While I have had cause to express my displeasure over some issues that happened in the course of our participation in the Afcon 2013, which my team won by the grace of God, especially concerning my relationship with the Nigerian Football Federation, I have since had opportunity to discuss the various issues with all concerned.

“I am therefore pleased to say that I have reconsidered my position and have decided to continue with my job. I want to thank the Honourable minister of sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift and kind intervention.”

Keshi guided Nigeria to their first Nations Cup victory in 19 years on Sunday, beating Burkina Faso 1-0, and became just the second man to have won the trophy as a player and coach.

But earlier on Monday evening, he announced his resignation as coach of the national team, claiming on radio station Metro FM that before the quarter-final clash against Ivory Coast – which Nigeria won – the country’s football federation had already decided they would sack him as soon as the Super Eagles were knocked out.

He also alleged the NFF booked a plane ticket back to Nigeria as soon as they found out that they would play Ivory Coast, expecting Keshi’s men to be knocked out.

Tue 12 February, 2013
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