Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi has shrugged off the issue surrounding his contract extension with the country’s football federation, NFF saying his “destiny” is not tied to the Super Eagles job.
The African champions face their Congolese counterparts, the Red Devils, at the Stade Municipal in Pointe-Noire in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match this Saturday which Nigeria must win by a two-goal margin to put life back into their hopes of defending their title.
The 52-year-old coach is yet to be offered a new contract since his first deal with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) elapsed after the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
But Keshi has now stated that contract talks is not an issue at the moment. He added that his future is not dependent on the Nigeria head coach job.
The former Mali and Togo manager believes there is life after managing the Super Eagles should he not be handed a contract at the end of the 2015 Afcon qualification.
“I don’t think it is proper to say my fate is tied to this (Nigeria) job. My concern right now is the game against Congo, and not whether I will still be in charge of this team after the match against Congo or South Africa.
“I think you all need to stop this because my destiny is not tied to Nigeria. I came from somewhere (to take up the Nigeria job). It is wrong to say my destiny is tied here because this country is bigger than any individual. If I am not the Super Eagles head coach today, my life will still go on. Also there are other places where I can go if I stopped being the coach of this country.
“But right now, I have a job to do and that is to ensure that the team qualifies the country for the Nations Cup. God forbid if we don’t qualify what will happen? It will not only affect Stephen Keshi, it will also affect you and every other Nigerian who love this sport. So I think this is not about Stephen Keshi but about Nigeria. All I want from my countrymen is to pray for the team and not me because I am just one man,” Keshi told journalists in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Keshi has been in charge of the African champions since November 2001 and has overseen more than 50 matches as the Nigeria head coach, including their 2013 Afcon triumph and appearance at the 2014 World Cup.