Stephen Keshi, former Super Eagles coach, has reflected on the circumstances that influenced his short-lived resignation after winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Keshi, who was speaking with Thecable from his US home, said he wanted out because he and his crew were cursed like babies while people who didn’t know his pains were meddling with his job, going as far as twice trying to sack him during the group phase of the tournament.
“Too many problems. People were not doing their jobs and they wanted to do my job for me. So, I decided to resign and let somebody else do the job. Too many people were talking; too many people wanted to coach, want to decide for you. And I said okay let them have the job,” he said.
“Those people were not there with me; they didn’t know what I was going through with my assistant coaches. So, they didn’t have to talk or tell me what I was supposed to have done then.
“They were not there to know how we suffered there. We were neglected. How we were abused. They didn’t have to say anything. After abusing us and cursing us like we were babies, we just said that was it. It is football; someone else will come and start it. So, I decided to let go at that point.”
Keshi, the longest-serving Super Eagles captain, maintained that it was appropriate for him to resign in South Africa rather than wait till the return to Nigeria, since it was there in South Africa that all the intrigues endured by his technical crew.
“All that happened in South Africa. All the threats happened in South Africa, South Africa was where the AFCON took place, it was in the same South Africa that they wanted to sack us after two games, where they were insulting us, so I might have ended it in South Africa. So, why do I have to take it to Nigeria – to do what?”
He continued: “They should have allowed us to finish our tournament and announce sack or no sack. They were not ready to do that but rather during the tournament. Why is it that it is when Keshi did his that everyone started talking? But when the NFF was doing their own, nobody said anything.
“I did not try to get back at my employers. Maigari was always there for me, because Maigari never knew me and I never know him either when he asked me to come coach Nigeria. Maigari made me believe that he had confidence in me, that Keshi could do it.
“So, I never knew Maigari; he never knew me before giving me the job and I still have that respect for him. So, there is nothing to get back at. Maigari knows all the problems and I am sure most of the members of his board all know the problems.
“It was not to get back at anybody. I was just tired of people trying to help me do my job., cursing us as if we were babies. Just felt it was better to leave the job and give it to somebody else to coach at that time.”