Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi has turned down the offer of a foreign assistant proposed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) ahead of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, which is only four months away.
Speaking on a television programme, spokesman of the NFF Technical Committee, Paul Bassey revealed that NFF recently met with Keshi to persuade him to accept a foreign assistant, but he refused.
He was even offered the chance of handpicking the foreign assistant while the federation would fund the salaries, but he declined still, instead demanding the reinstatement of Sylvanus Okpala, his former assistant who was surprisingly sacked after the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) triumph.
“Stephen Keshi was offered the chance to choose a foreign assistant, who will work under him but he made it clear he is fine with his current assistants and backroom staff”, South African football website, www.supersport.com quoted Bassey as saying on the programme.
“The federation did this because they felt Keshi needed additional assistant. But Keshi said he wanted one of his assistants, Sylvanus Okpala, to be recalled. The federation told him Okpala can't be recalled because he was sacked for insubordination”.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Keshi and his assistants — Daniel Amokachi, Ike Shorunmu and Valere Houandinou — have sanctioned the recall of at least two exiled Super Eagles players, ahead of a now-familiar friendly clash with the struggling Mexican national team billed for 5th March 2014 in the United States.
Football website, mtnfootball.com says an official of the NFF confirmed that Ikechukwu Uche — who hasn’t played for Nigeria since a lacklustre outing at the AFCON 2014 final but has recently been in fascinating form for Villarreal FC in the Spanish La Liga — and Lukman Haruna — who has seen little action since featuring at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa — have been recalled.
Only two days ago, former Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia reignited arguments for Uche’s recall to the national team, citing his 12 goals in 19 La Liga appearances this term as well as his 18 goals in 44 international appearances for Nigeria.
“The truth is that we should know that a player cannot be on fire every time”. Siasia said on Tuesday. “But we know that if we want to pick five good Nigerian strikers for the Super Eagles, Ike must be there. He is that deadly striker in front of the goal”.