Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi on Tuesday apologised to the
Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi as well as the top hierarchy of Nigeria Football Federation over his conduct following Nigeria’s triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The 51-year old had reportedly resigned from his post hours after Nigeria’s first victorious run in Africa’s prime football tournament for the first time in 19 years, and this generated some kind of friction in the days that followed.
However, after a three-hour, close-door parley in the Minister’s office, Nigeria’s longest-serving Captain apologized for his action and pleaded for forgiveness from the Minister and his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation.
At the meeting were the Minister, NFF President Aminu Maigari, Chairman of NFF Technical Committee Chris Green, NFF’s Director of Competitions Mohammed Sanusi, Keshi and NFF’s Assistant Director (Media) Ademola Olajire.
“I am truly sorry for whatever bad blood my actions and general conduct might have generated. But I want everyone to forgive and forget and let us focus hard on the big challenge of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals,” Keshi said.
Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi urged the NFF leadership to forget the events of the past months and work very hard with Keshi in the task of steering the Super Eagles to next year’s showpiece in Brazil.
“The principle behind this meeting is that the country is bigger than all of us. We must forget the little things that might have transpired which we did not like. We must forget personal injuries and be prepared to forge ahead.”
NFF Boss, Maigari commended the Minister for all he has been doing for Nigeria football and remarked: “South Africa 2013 was three months ago. In football, you are as good as your last result. We are all focused on the important task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, and also to ensure that we do well at the FIFA Confederations Cup because we are representing the whole of the African continent.”