Stephen Keshi has been offered a new two-year contract to stay on as Nigeria’s senior men soccer coach.
His previous contract expired after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria was eliminated in the second round.
Keshi, who led the West Africans to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title, has been in charge of the team since November 2011.
“We believe he deserves to continue and we expect him to sign this new contract in the coming days,” said Nigerian Soccer Federation president, Amaju Pinnick. “We all need help to excel in what we do and Keshi will get all the support he needs to succeed with the team.”
The 53-year-old, who represented his country 64 times, won the Nations Cup as a player in 1994. As part of the new contract, he’s required to sign a code of conduct and expected to work with the country’s soccer federation technical committee.
Nigeria did not qualify for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations championship.
Meanwhile, the Zambian government has settled a pay dispute with national soccer coach Dario Bonetti to stave off a possible International Soccer Federation (FIFA) sanction.
The Frenchman, who was in charge of the national team from July 2010 to October 2011, has been owed US$432,000. He was sacked with nine months left on his deal and despite qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Bonetti lodged a complaint against the Zambia Soccer Federation with FIFA and a hearing had been set for August.
Following Zambia’s expulsion from the 2018 World Cup qualifying series for failing to pay former coach Jose Claudinei Georgini, there were fears Zambia could face an international ban if they did not pay Bonetti.
Zambia Sports Minister, Vincent Mwale, said the country’s soccer association terminated the coach’s contract without consulting the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
“In order for the country not to suffer FIFA sanctions which could entail the country not being able to participate in international tournaments, the ministry requested for intervention from the treasury for special funding to quickly settle the issue,” he said.
George Kasengele, the general secretary of the country’s soccer federation, said his association is happy the issue has been settled.
“This is a matter that is now beyond us and as an association we are happy we are no longer owing him,” he said. “Owing people has its consequences.”