OCTOBER 26, 2014.
The Chris Giwa-led faction of the Nigeria Football Federation has overturned the decision of the body earlier taken by the opposing faction of Amaju Pinnick to reinstate Stephen Keshi as the Super Eagles coach.
The Amaju-led faction replaced Keshi with Amodu Shaibu a fortnight ago after leading the Super Eagles to a 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja. The win was the team’s first in four matches in the qualifying series for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Giwa faction took over the NFF following Thursday’s ruling by a Jos Federal High Court, which ordered the return of the status quo in the NFF before the September 30 election that brought in the Amaju-led board in Warri.
A part of the communique released on Friday by the Giwa-led board reads, “The NFF board reviewed and feels so strongly to sustain the out-of-contract assignment given to the technical crew of the Super Eagles led by Stephen Keshi at a very critical moment like this. Nigerians want the national team to play well, win and a pride to them.”
The board also dissolved all committees set up by the Amaju group and constituted new ones to manage the nation’s football.
Giwa told Sunday PUNCH on the telephone on Saturday that he would have no problem bringing Keshi back to manage the Super Eagles despite the coach saying he was prepared to move on after the NFF failed to renew his contract.
“I don’t have problem bringing Keshi back; he has not told me he was not interested. I’ve spoken with him and there are positive signs he is ready to lead the team to success,” Giwa said.
“I’ve never met Keshi before but I cannot agree with the idea of replacing the coach at a time we have crucial matches to play and qualify for the Nations Cup.
“Inasmuch as I don’t have anything against Amodu, I don’t think it is the right time to bring him on board. Amodu has not coached any team in that capacity for a long time, and this is a crucial time when we need to be on top of everything.”
The Amaju group, however, said it was not losing sleep over the activities of the Giwa faction.
The group confirmed on Saturday it has filed a Stay of Execution at the Federal High Court, Jos Judicial Division over the court’s ruling of Thursday.
The hearing of the case Stay of Execution comes up on Wednesday.
“We’re not losing sleep over this, we’ll get what we want from the court because we’ve not done anything wrong by conducting the NFF elections,” a member of the Amaju-led board said.