Keshi Finally Speaks On Eagles' 2015 AFCON Failure
Chief Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has finally spoken on Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, holding in Equatorial Guinea.
It was reported early on November 20, 2014, Thursday that Keshi did not appear for the post match conference on Wednesday's night after his team were held to a 2-2 draw by South Africa's Bafana Bafana at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.
Speaking moments ago, Keshi, who was reinstated to his post last month after he was relieved of his duty by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said that a coach must take full responsibility for the result of his team.
The former coach of Togo and Mali added that he has to accept the fate that befell the Eagles under his watch.
According to him, Nigeria's inability to defend the title it won last year in South Africa means that he has failed the country.
READ ALSO: Austin Okocha On Super Eagles
Keshi noted that sacking of the coach after a team's failure solve the problem, rather the football authority should look beyond the coach to find solutions to the problem.
On what was responsible for the Super Eagles' inability to secure the needed win against South Africa, Keshi blamed his players for taking South Africa lightly in a match they needed to win to qualify for the tournament proper.
“May be we took South Africa for granted and we paid dearly for this,” said the coach.
Meanwhile, the scorer of Nigeria’s two goals against the Bafana Bafana, Sone Aluko, said the whole team are devastated by the failure to defend the crown they won in South Africa last year.
“I am disappointed, everybody is disappointed,” said Hull City forward Aluko.
“We did not get the result we wanted, and we now have to pick ourselves up as a team.”
Also speaking on the outcome of the match which many football fans have described as a national disaster, former Nigeria skipper, Segun Odegbami, said he has not recovered from the shock.
“I’m numbed with shock we are not going to the Nations Cup,” he said.
“We have always taken South Africa for granted, believing we can take them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but they have now shown us that this is an end of era.”
It would be recalled that the NFF had earlier on Thursday released a statement where it accepted full responsibility for the failure of the Eagles to qualify for the 2015 AFCON.
“The NFF takes full responsibility for what has happened. It is a tragedy for us to come so near and yet fail to reach the finals.
“We made so much effort and sacrifice in Congo to achieve the victory we needed there on Saturday and really had no business bungling it here.
“However, our commitment is to build a sustainable football culture in the country and nothing has changed. This is a disappointment but for us, we gave it our best shot and supported the team fully,” NFF's President, Amaju Pinnick stated.