Stephen Keshi is set to sign a new contract as Super Eagles head coach next week, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) executive committee announced.
The 52-year-old’s initial contract expired with the World Cup in Brazil, but he expressed his willingness to continue after leading the Super Eagles to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations and a place in the round of 16 in Brazil.
“The executive committee has mandated the secretariat to reach out to Keshi and conclude the details of his contract,” NFF spokesperson Emeka Iyama said.
“We expect that the signing would be next week so that he can resume work ahead of the fast-approaching 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series,” he said.
Keshi’s immediate task will be a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 7between Nigeria and Rwanda.
South Africa and Sudan are also in the group with the top two qualifying for the finals in Morocco in January.
Keshi is on the verge of becoming Nigeria’s longest serving coach after Clemens Westerhof who guided the fortunes of the team from late 1989 till after the 1994 World Cup.
The big boss is presently the second longest serving Eagles boss and his Keshi’s longevity is all the more remarkable given that he is still in the mix after three international events, but that’s a mark of his success. Most significantly, in 2013, he brought Nigeria their first African title since 1994, when the former defender captained the side under Westerhof.
But it is not only in terms of titles that Nigeria has benefited from Keshi’s expertise as the team is ranked higher now in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking than it was when ‘Big Boss’ took over. At the time, the Super Eagles were ranked 44 in the world. Now they are currently ranked ten places better. After being handed the job in 2011, Keshi said that he was determined to take the side to success. “I will try to do to my utmost best to bring back joy to Nigerian people.
There are challenges all over the place but I just have to keep my focus and see what happens.”