Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, who led Nigeria to its third victory in the African Nations Cup Sunday in Johannesburg, has dedicated Nigeria’s victory to African coaches.
Keshi, who has been a strong advocate of African coaches handling the continent’s national teams, was of the opinion that his team’s win would compel other countries to give their nationals the opportunity to train their sides.
“I have said it before that only an indigenous coach can do the job without acting like a mercenary. It is not as if the whites cannot do the job, but most times the foreign coaches we see here any not more qualified than the indigenous coaches. They just get the jobs because of their colour and not due to their ability.
“It is a shame that when an African is coaching the national team nobody wants to give him the time, but when it is a foreigner they allow him the opportunity to work on his team. I hope that will change because I need time to finish this job and make the Eagles super again.”
The coach described his team as a young side that still has some growing up to do, adding that he would continue to work on it until it becomes ready to challenge every opposition in world football.
Nigeria’s victory has qualified the Super Eagles for the Confederation Cup slated for Brazil later this year, and Keshi says it would be an honour to represent the country and indeed Africa at the tourney.
He expressed optimism that the Confederation Cup would contribute its quota to improving the fortunes of the team, adding, “there is a lot of potential and quality in this team. What they have done is that they have just given 80 per cent of what they have.”
Keshi stressed that the lessons that he has learnt from the tourney would come in handy because as an optimist, he rarely thinks about the negative side of things, but draws lessons from whatever bad situation he finds himself.