The main desire of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), notwithstanding replacement of sacked national soccer team coach Stephen Keshi with Amodu Shuaibu, is to employ a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, a former international Adokiye Amiesimaka has said. The NFF had on Saturday announced the termination of Keshi’s contract with the federation following an investigation into allegations that he applied to the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation (FIF) for the coaching job of the Elephants, and also the invitation of a non-league player, Gabriel Okechukwu, to the Super Eagles for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad.
Adokiye a former Commissioner of Justice in Rivers State, though described the Cote d’Ivoire job application as “tenuous”, averred that Keshi simply played into the hands of leadership of the NFF. He said: “First I don’t know why people are taking this NFF seriously because that body itself is unknown to the law, what the Constitution of this country recognizes is the Nigeria Football Association (NFA). “A court of law in this country has declared the NFF illegal, so everything they do in that name is illegal. But in Nigeria anything goes; the government, which should be custodian of the law, surprisingly still recognizes and funds the NFF.
“However, on the issue of Keshi, I think he was the architect of his own misfortune because he should have quit when the ovation was loudest. “This NFF has never hidden their disdain for him, they made it difficult for him to work, and he should have simply taken a walk after winning the Nations Cup in 2013, but he chose to soldier on. “Apparently, he had the backing of the former president but that is history now. The NFF was always looking for an excuse to nail him and what he was accused of now is even tenuous. By and large he had it coming.”
Prodded on the issue of Shuaibu Amodu, who only last week assumed duty as Technical Director of the NFF, taking temporary charge of the Super Eagles pending the appointment of a substantive coach, Adokiye sneered at the development, describing it as laughable and ill-intentioned. “This NFF, through their actions and pronouncements have never made any pretension about their preference for a foreign coach and that’s what they’ll go for ultimately.
“I see no reason why people are happy that Amodu. Some people are just playing on the intelligence of Nigerians because this same Amodu qualified Nigeria for the World Cup and they asked him to step aside because they claimed he lacked technical expertise. Some of those who derided Amodu are members of this current NFF.” The plot by the NFF, Adokiye averred, is to make the working conditions unbearable for Amodu and make him fail just like they did to Keshi.
“What gives you the impression that Amodu would be treated differently?” Adokiye queried. “They’ll lay mines for him, make life difficult for him all in a bid to make him fail and then tell the nation that since the indigenous coaches could not deliver it’s better to employ a foreign coach.” The 1980 Nations Cup winner, however, posited that Amodu would be seen to have learnt his lessons from previous dealings with the soccer body by stopping the plot from unraveling.