KESHI DELIVERS AFCON 2013 TICKET: With Such Incredible Performance Does Super Eagles Need a Technical Adviser?

Super Eagles rout of Liberia Lone Stars by 6 goals to 1 has landed Nigeria the ticket for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. Sure the victory put smiles once again on the faces of many Nigeria Football fans and pundits wonders if Keshi's success so far could finally rest the clamor for foreign technical adviser for the team.

Some school of thoughts believes that Samson Siasia's failure to qualify for AFCON 2011 was due to technical lapses, which they say is the bane of most local coaches in Nigeria. "It seems most time, when the chips are down their team flop and bring so much heartache to expectant fans." said Ade Ojehkeri, Editor in Chief of Nation's sports.

When you look at the records you will tend to agree. It was only foreign coaches that had led Nigeria national teams to their major successes. Otto Gloria led the Green Eagles to win the nations cup 1980 and Clemence Westerhof in 1994. Bonfrere Jo also led the Dream team to win the first ever soccer gold medal in Olympics games in Atlanta 1996.

Although, Coach Shaibu Amodu (a Local Coach) had to rescue the Super Eagles and helped them qualify for 1998 World cup, when Bonfrere Jo (a foreign coach) was sacked due to poor performance. In spite the fact that Amodu qualified the team, a foreign coach, Bora Milotinovic, was employed to relief him of the duty. The reason they said, was Amodu technically deficiency. The same thing happened in 2010 when Lars Lagerback took over the team during the World cup without any significant result after all.

Foreign coaches handling national sides used to be the standard for almost all countries in Africa. But the success of the Egyptian Coach Hassan Shehata winning a triple AFCON 2006, 2008, and 2010 set the case for local coaches for national team job. Currently, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, is being managed by local coaches.

Stephen Keshi, the most influential and the longest serving Nigeria team captain for 13 years, took over Super Eagles after Samson Siasia failed to qualify the team for AFCON 2011. Keshi had previously qualified Togo national side for World cup 2006, but had a poor run as the head coach of Tiraga Lions of Mali.

At Keshi's appointment, NFF got him to agree to work under a foreign technical adviser, but the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullah recently nullified the appointment of Tom Saintfeit, a Belgian, as the technical director of NFF, opting for an indigenous personnel for that position if so necessary. But many football analysts still advocate strongly for a foreign coach or what they refer to as technical adviser for the team’s technical support.

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