Former Nigeria player and handler Christian Chukwu said coach Stephen Keshi was the architect of his own sack after failing to walk away after failing to qualify the country for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
The 53-year-old, who was re-appointed as the country’s senior national team coach in April, was kicked out on Saturday evening; with assistant Salisu Yusuf and the Technical Directorate of the NFF, led by Amodu Shuaibu, to take over till a substantive handler is announced.
Chukwu faulted his insistence to remain as the senior national team gaffer saying the Nigeria Football Federation only kept him because they had no option then.
“You know that Keshi and the NFF marriage has been lingering. But if this is what will bring sanity between the NFF and the coach so be it. The handwriting has been there, it is only that Keshi refused to see it,” Chukwu told Goal.
“The thing is that both parties are aware of the contract they signed and one should believe that before they sacked Keshi they (NFF) must have made proper arrangements for the team. So I don’t want to see it as a diversion or crisis. It has happened, so let us look ahead.
“When Keshi was re-appointed it seemed the NFF’s hands were tied. The proper thing for him to do [when he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for Afcon 2015] was to throw in the towel. If the NFF wants him back then they can ask him to come back. It happened to Samson Siasia then and now he is back.”
The Enugu Rangers legend who said Keshi turned down his appeal to bow out honourably appeals to the NFF should do all it takes to fill the void that his dismissal may create.
“So when it happened to Keshi I don’t know the forces that were behind him to stay. If he had quit that time he wouldn’t have been sacked now. When I saw the handwriting on the wall then I properly advised him to resign but did not heed to the advice then,” he continued.
“What I am advising the Nigeria Football Federation is to put in the machinery that won’t create any vacuum because of the sack of Keshi which I believe they have done pending a substantive coach is named.
“From what I read in the dailies coaches Shuabu Amodu and Salisu Yussuf would act in caretaker capacity, maybe the NFF has something bigger coming up. They may employ another coach on a full scale.
“We cannot run the national team on a caretaker coaching level. So it is either they confirm the caretaker people or they employ a Technical Adviser.
“Whether the NFF opts for a foreign coach or local one, I believe that coaches are the same all over the world. You can remember that I was a foreign coach too. I acted as one in Kenya and other place.
“The most important thing is what the coach is bringing to the team for the team to continue to improve, develop and later ranked among the best in world football. Whether it is a black man or a white man what he brings to the table is what matters most”, he concluded.
The Big Boss’s job came under intense scrutiny since the 2-0 victory over Chad after he put a non-league player on the bench and his name also appeared on the FIF website as one of more than 50 coaches applying for Cote d’Ivoire national team job.