Keshi Denies Super Eagles Abandonement Allegation
NFF Media Committee Chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama and Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi have reacted with shock a story in a national daily that the Super Eagles were abandoned by Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and the leadership of football in the run-up to the third place match against Zimbabwe last Saturday in South Africa.
Inyama, who spoke first said the report was not only a calculated mischief by the reporter but one designed to downplay the huge impact the Super Eagles made at its maiden outing at the CHAN African Nations Tourney.
“I am shocked to read such a report from a respected medium, who should know better, because the Sports Minister in the company of the NFF President did not only host the team in Bloemfontein, but also redeemed his pledge to the team and even when the team did not win against Ghana, he gave the amount he promised for a win because he was impressed by the team. Does that translate to abandonment?” he asked rhetorically.
The former Editor-in-Chief of SportsLink and former Abia State Sports Commissioner further declared that NFF President, Aminu Maigari has been with the team nearly all of the tourney and was addressing the team regularly, which was widely reported in the media adding that it was shocking that a newspaper will at the end of the championship now report that the team was abandoned by very responsible public office holders.
“We hope this rather tragic report is withdrawn by those concerned in the interest of sports growth,” he declared.
On his part, Keshi, who spoke through the team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, said he does not understand what is meant by the word abandoned, because the Sports Minister, NFF President and several top members of the sports fraternity were with the team throughout the duration of the tournament.
“We may not have seen much of the Supporters Club in the third place but the Minster and NFF were always with the team throughout the tournament.”
He added that the Minister and the NFF President even addressed the team in a widely publicised event, wondering what the team needs to reach its goals in crucial encounters in major competitions.
“I was shocked when I read the story and I think we should always respect those in authority without blackmail,” he said.
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