Lagos - Senior national team coach, Stephen Keshi, lamented his treatment by the Nigerian Football federation saying he felt unappreciated after the organisation reportedly failed to pay him and his technical staff for seven months.
The mentor, who is credited to reviving the team’s fortunes after years of underachievement, described the setback as “the lowest point of my career.”
He alleged the football association owed him N35 million (US$210 000).
“Owing me up to seven months makes me feel I am not being appreciated. It is like they (my employers) think I am being favoured in what I am doing. I am not being favoured. Whatever I am doing here, I am doing it with everything I have and I need to be respected and be paid. The lowest point of my career is working and not being paid for seven to eight months. I have never had this kind of experience before,” said Keshi, who has previously coached in the continent.
“In Mali, they will never owe you. Your salary will hit your account before the end of every month. It was the same thing in Togo.”
He said it was “unbelievable” that he and his colleagues had worked without pay for more than seven months.
“I do not like discussing money issues and if there is any NFF member who said we can work for free, then I will want to speak with him face to face,” the former national team skipper added.
He regretted that the NFF appears not to be concerned about the technical team’s plight in spite of the team “training under rain and sun to make Nigerians happy.”
Keshi guided Nigeria to the African Cup of Nations title in South Africa early this year.
The team is also on the verge of qualifying for next year’s World Cup scheduled for Brazil.
The coach has had a frosty relationship with the NFF.
He briefly quit after the Nations Cup accusing the federation of undermining him after the NFF had reportedly sought a successor when the team’s chances of winning the tournament appeared slim.
NFF is yet to respond to the allegations it has not paid the technical team.
– CAJ News