Nigeria owe coach Stephen Keshi two months’ pay ahead of Nations Cup

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Dec 20th, 2012
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Nigeria's national football team head coach Stephen Keshi watches on June 3, 2012 his team play a 2014 World Cup qualifying Group F match against Namibia at the U.J. Esuene stadium in Calabar.    AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Nigeria’s national football team head coach Stephen Keshi watches on June 3, 2012 his team play a 2014 World Cup qualifying Group F match against Namibia at the U.J. Esuene stadium in Calabar. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The Nigeria Football Federation has revealed it owes coach Stephen Keshi two months’ salary – just weeks before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Keshi, a former Nigeria international, has yet to make an official complaint about the non-payment.

And he is currently preparing for the tournament in South Africa, which takes places from 19 January to 10 February.

“It’s a situation that is unfortunate but we are working to sort it out,” said NFF president Aminu Maigari.

“It’s not true that he is being owed six months salary. We will ensure he gets the two month salary due to him.”
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“It is our job to sort everything out as soon as possible and we will”

Aminu Maigari NFF president

The NFF, which appoints and pays national coaches, also owes assistant coaches Daniel Amokachi, Sylvanus Okpala and Ike Shorunmu in salary arrears.

Keshi’s situation is even more dire as is he still waiting for his official car and apartment, more than a year after he took over the job.

The NFF, which receives its funding from the sports ministry, has acknowledged the debts owed to the coaches but says they will have to be patient.

“The apartment and car issue has been discussed,” Maigari told BBC Sport.

“It’s all part of the agreement [car and apartment], we appreciate that the coach has been very understanding but we won’t take that for granted.

“No-one is happy that we are in this situation, that the coaches remained quiet about it shows a strong maturity

“Now, it is our job to sort everything out as soon as possible and we will.”

It is not the first time Nigerian coaches have been not been paid.

Recently the likes of Christian Chukwu, Shaibu Amodu, Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, John Obuh and Eucharia Uche have gone to the media seeking payment of outstanding salaries.

Meanwhile, Nigeria will field a team drawn from the Nigeria Premier League for their 2 January friendly against Catalonia.

According to NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire, the game against Catalonia will be used to select the locally based players that will be included in the country’s final 23-man Nations Cup.

Players from the NPL who failed to make the final cut will then return to the country after the game.

Nigeria begin their Nations Cup campaign against Burkina Faso on 21 January and then face Zambia and Ethiopia in Group C. BBC

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