KENYA VS NIGERIA: Stephen Keshi Worries About June's Booby Trap

No excuse is good enough why the current African Champions shouldn’t qualify for 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. But Stephen Keshi may be leading the Super Eagles of Nigeria into the crucial qualifier game in Nairobi, without his best men at war.

Following the first leg in Calabar where Harambee stars of Kenya almost ran away with an away victory, but the Super Eagles managed a 1 – 1 draw at the dying minutes. Indeed, it seems some of the Nigerian stars in that game may have developed cold feet for the second leg at Nairobi.

No doubt, it’ll be a war to finish in Nairobi, but Keshi may be going into the game with a depicted team. The withdrawal of players like Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and the injured Emmanuel Emernike, Rueben Gabriel and Kalu Uche has left Keshi with no option but to re-strategize in a hurry.

It doesn’t matter whether Keshi felt some people are trying to sabotage his position, Super Eagles must chunk out a good result in the coming two qualifiers, Kenya and Namibia in June or he may have just walked into the booby trap of his distractors.

I believe Keshi knows that June remains a big threat to his job as the ultimate man in the Super Eagles team.  The question is, will the ‘big boss’ survive the hurdles of the coming weeks or do we start searching for a new ‘technical adviser.’ What is at stake here is the pride of Nigeria as a football nation and the 2014 FIFA World cup ticket.

Although, Nigeria’s technical director, Shaibu Amodu says that the Super Eagles should focus on qualifying for the 2014 FIFA world cup instead of putting too much effort in winning June’s Confederations cup. Amodu told BBC sports, “What’s the point in winning a world cup dress rehearsal and missing out on the big party next year?”

“The world cup is a crucial one for the country. For us, it is the most important tournament. You see, no one remembers who won the last Confederations cup, because world cup quickly erases everything. That is how big and important it is.”

Nigeria currently level on points with Malawi at the top of their group table and faces away to Kenya in June 5 and Namibia in June 12. Amodu explains, “These are tricky games of the world cup qualifiers. And one slip can easily change the complexion of the group.”

Never the less, the fans and media expects Nigeria to do well in both the friendly game with Mexico and at the Confederations cup, where Nigeria will go against the world and European champions, Spain; The South American champions, Uruguay and Tahiti.  

Confederations cup will surely be a great test for the Nigerian side, but Keshi must be aware that the pride of the country is at stake as well as his job.

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