Nothing Will Make Me Change My Mind – Keshi

Former Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi has confirmed Sports Vanguard’s breaking news on his parting of ways with the Nigeria Football Federation.

We also told you more than three months ago that Nigeria Football Federation was not interested in renewing Keshi’s contract. Keshi has confirmed all our exclusives in this interview below.

Nigeriacoach Stephen Keshi talks about ‘resignation’Stephen Keshi has parted ways with the Nigeria Football Federation. This is the true situation and not that the Nigerian coach has resigned. His contract with the federation ended with the World Cup and the Federation is not planning, as we exclusively reported more than three months ago, to renew the contract.

Keshi is likely to pick the job he has been offered by South Africa.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have done as regards the preparations of the team before this World Cup?

A: I would have loved to have had them in camp a lot earlier. The European season made a little bit difficult as I did not want to have only one half of the squad in camp before the others joined.

We had less than two weeks to perfect our plans and it showed as it was only when we got to the tournament that we started picking up our rhythm. We had only three friendly matches which are really not enough to get ready for a tournament like this. So, those are what I would have liked to change.

Have you really quit your post?

Yes. I have done my bit. I am tired of all the intrigues and backbiting and insinuations I get. The criticisms are nothing really because even siblings criticise each other. In this job sometimes it goes overboard and my family and those of my players get called names.

I have had to tell the players many times to ignore those criticisms and just focus on the tasks at hand.

There are many Nigerians who support you. Many who would like to see you continue the work you started with the team. Can you not change your mind for them?

The same ones who were calling for my head after the Iran match? That “the World Cup is too big for Keshi”? I know there are many who truly support what we have been trying to do over these past months but I just cannot continue in this job anymore.

To start with, my contract ended with the last match and the Federation never approached me for a renewal. What does that say? It says to me I’m not wanted. I am going to go and rest, spend some time with my family and then hopefully get another job where I am wanted.

After the Afcon win, President Goodluck Jonathan intervened and sorted things out. What if he does this time?

As much as I respect and appreciate the number one citizen of the country I am afraid that this time it is going to be difficult. I am totally done with some of these people.