Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Keshi was not given any target ahead of AFCON -- Minister

09 February 2013, 09:29

Johannesburg - Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, has said that Super Eagles coach was not given any target ahead of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Abdullahi told newsmen on Friday in Johannesburg that the National Sports Commission (NSC) and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) were conscious of the pressure such a target woud put on the team.

"We realised that given the rebuilding work that Stephen Keshi is doing, it will be wrong to set a target for the team before the Nations Cup started,'' the minister said.

"In any case no one would have predicted that Nigeria would reach the final of the tournament, although I did say when I was leaving South Africa before the quarter final match against Cote d'Ivoire that I would return for the final,” Abdullahi added.

He attributed the success of the team at the tournament to the unity existing between the NSC and the NFF.

Abdullahi praised the professionalism demonstratrated by of Keshi and the players during the campaign.

"I can only attribute the success of the team to the new governance system that we have managed to
put in place.

"In the past, there were people who were deliberately working against the success of the team so that no one would take glory for the success of
the team.

"They were powerful people who could influence CAF on major matters but what we have now is that everyone is working for the team’s success.

"A lot of attempts have been made to destabilise the team but the players and coaches have demonstrated their trust in the ministry and the NFF,’’ Abdullahi said.

He said that there was no intention to sack Keshi because of the initial slow start of the team at the tournament.

"There was the rumour that Keshi would be sacked but I called him and told him that nobody was going to sack him because he is doing a great job,” Abdullahi said.

He said that the victory over Cote d’ Ivoire at the quarter-final motivated the team.

"The victory over Cote d’ Ivoire brought confidence and calm to the team. Also President Goodluck Jonathan's skpe call to the team equally motivated the team against Mali at the semi-final.

"The President also promised to call to speak with the players and technical crew before Sunday's final,’’ Abdullahi said.

Meanwhile, the Sports minister has confirmed that the Senate president Sen. David Mark will lead the federal government delegation to the final of the 2013 nation’s cup between the Super Eagles and Burkina-Faso at the National Stadium in Johannesburg
on Feb. 10.

"As at today (Friday) the instruction is that the Senate President and some governors will arrive in South Africa on Saturday for the final.

"It is possible the President could find time to come but we have not received any information or confirmation on that,” Abdullahi said.

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...