ABUJA: Nigeria have sacked Stephen Keshi as national coach despite the home win over Sudan that kept them in the running to defend their African title.
The NFF said, after an emergency meeting, that former coach Shuaibu Amodu would take temporary charge before a foreign manager is appointed.
The Super Eagles were bottom of Group A in qualifying for next year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations after taking just one point from their opening three matches but a 3-1 win against Sudan in Abuja on Wednesday lifted them to third.
Speculation about 52-year-old Keshi’s future has refused to ease since the end of the World Cup in Brazil, where NIgeria reached the knock-out stages of the competition.
Keshi’s three-year deal ran out after the return from South America and his record of five defeats, five draws and just one victory in the last 11 matches has only compounded dissatisfaction and led to calls for him to quit.
In a statement, the NFF said Keshi and his coaching staff had led Nigeria to “glorious accomplishments” in the last three years and called the coach and his assistants “true national heroes”.
“However, in the interest of Nigerian football and the desire to ensure qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals, the (executive) committee decided to relieve them of their duties with immediate effect,” it added.
Amodu returns again
Unanimous approval was given for a consortium of coaches, led by Amodu, to take charge for the remaining qualifying matches against Congo and South Africa “after which an expatriate coach will be appointed”.
Amodu’s reappointment comes four years after he was sacked and stopped from leading the country to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This will be his fifth stint with the Eagles having first taken charge of the team in 1994.
The 56-year-old will be assisted by El Kanemi Warriors coach Salisu Yusuf, who worked under Samson Siasia both with the Flying Eagles and Super Eagles, and Gbenga Ogunbote of Sharks.
Their immediate task is to secure a win against Congo in Pointe Noire to stay in the reckoning for a place at the Africa Cup of Nations whose finals are scheduled for Morocco in January.
Nigeria have four points from as many matches while Congo are second on seven points. Group leaders South Africa visit Nigeria for the final qualifying game next month.