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    Friday, March 28, 2014

    NFF queries Keshi over attitude to work

    Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

    The Nigeria Football Federation has asked Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, to explain several incidents bordering on his attitude to work. The memo signed by the federation’s Technical Director, Emmanuel Ikpeme, on behalf of the General Secretary asks the coach to explain why he proceeded on leave without permission and thus missing a reception hosted by President Jonathan Goodluck in February among other issues.

    Keshi has been asked to respond to the query dated March 26 within 24 hours.

    A member of the NFF Technical Committee told The PUNCH that his attitude to his employers especially in the last few months has been quite disrespectful.

    He said, “For a coach that preaches discipline, he has not performed according to what he says. Tuesday’s (March 25) behaviour was the height of it.”

    On the said date, Keshi did not attend Tuesday’s technical committee session with the NFF in Abuja as he was in Lagos to take part in a round table discussion with Nigerian journalists. The Federation said they were forced to move the meeting to April 8 after Keshi said he could not return to the country before that day.

    The NFF letter obtained by The PUNCH reads in part, “It has come to the attention of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), with total dismay, that you attended a function of Tom Tom in Lagos on Tuesday, 25th March, 2014 without the express permission of your employers, the NFF.

    “Furthermore, this happened on the day you were expected to appear before the NFF Technical Committee to discuss your programme for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The reason you gave for not attending the said meeting and for which you were excused was that you will only be returning to Nigeria on 26th March, 2014 because of your inability to reschedule your flight back to Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Federation’s approval for your request for leave was to begin on February 15 and end on March 10, 2014. By not heeding to the approved date, you have seriously violated the terms of approval with attendant consequences.

    “It is equally important we draw your attention to previous actions whereby you travel out of Nigeria without express permission of the NFF. Specifically, you travelled out of the country before the day President Jonathan received the home-based Super Eagles at the State House on Thursday, February 13, 2014, causing a very serious embarrassment to the Federation.

    “As a responsible organisation, we have no other option than to issue you a query to explain how all these events unfolded.”

    Keshi and his employers had been enjoying seemingly renewed cordial relationship until this memo. In the past they rowed over his unpaid salary and speculation about the appointment of a foreign assistant for Keshi – a move the FA eventually denied.

    The peak of their stormy relationship since he became Nigeria coach in November 2011 was Keshi’s purported resignation after leading Nigeria to the African cup in South Africa in February 2013.

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