Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Super Eagles

Stephen Keshi © Backpagepics

Keshi puts birthday party on hold



The pressure of the ongoing Afcon in South Africa has meant that Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi will put aside any plan of celebrating his 51st birthday.

Keshi turned 51 on Wednesday but the Super Eagles' gaffer is said to be more concerned with his side's preparation for Friday's epic clash with African champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia after they failed to claim all points against Burkina Faso in a 1-1 on Monday.

Executive committee members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had emerged from the showdown talks saying they have told Keshi and his team to beat Zambia this Friday as well as put up an overall good outing at the Afcon.

“We have told them to go and put up a credible performance that will make Nigerians proud. The good thing is that we were not disgraced in the first game because we didn't lose. Every team in the group drew their games but we have told them to improve on their performance in subsequent games," said NFF president, Aminu Maigari.

And another NFF board member, Emeka Inyama said: "We have asked the coaching crew to give us reassurances of a win over Zambia. The Zambians were not spectacular in their first game against Ethiopia. We've made it clear that the team needs to beat Zambia to ensure they qualify from the group stage."

However, sources inside the Nigerian camp at the Africa Cup of Nations believe the pressure may have been cranked up after the emergency meeting between the leadership of the nation's FA and the coaches led by Keshi in Nelspruit, South Africa on Tuesday.

Keshi was said to have kept mum when the press asked him about the reason behind the meeting.

The only plan to celebrate the 51st birthday of the Big Boss, as Keshi is fondly called, could be a surprise singsong from players and backroom staff to mark the day for the coach inside the Ingwenyama Sports and Leisure Club in Nelspruit.

“There may be a minor birthday song for him at dinner time but nothing serious will happen until we achieve our aim here in the Nations Cup,” a source hinted.

But as birthday wishes continue to pour in for the Big Boss, his concern will be to break the duck by getting his first-ever win as a manager at the Afcon after failing to do so as the coach of Mali and Togo in the past.

Shop

Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R202.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Brockie - A striking example
Jeremy Brockie has only been in South Africa since January but has made a big impression.

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref in red card 'blunder'
In my last blog for supersport.com I stated that video technology is, more than ever, required to...

Sunday Oliseh
EPL goes to war with non-Euro foreigners
What will the Barclays Premier League be without foreigners today? Uninteresting to say the least...

Carol Radull
LVG has arrived
I said it a few weeks ago, that once Man United found their footing, it would be impossible to stop...

Segun Odegbami
Football is full of failed coaches
I admit that I am looking for trouble writing today about coaches. I do not really like discussing...

John Dykes
Ups and downs for Mersey managers
My thoughts have increasingly turned to Merseyside of late as Social Media has been abuzz with talk...