Keshi's CIV response leaves more questions than answers

Monday 22 June 2015

/ by Colin Udoh

Keshi is listed number 20 on the list of applicants for the CIV coaching job

Over the weekend, Côte d'Ivoire published a list of 59 candidates who they claim had applied to replace Herve Renard as coach of the Elephants.

Nigerians were left bewildered by one inclusion on the list, Stephen Keshi. 

It has been barely two months since Keshi signed a new, two-year contract to coach the Super Eagles, so it came as something of a head scratcher to find his name on that list.

With the NFF launching an investigation, Keshi's manager Emmanuel Ado quickly out out a statement on Facebook. The statement, published in full below, is a case study in artful deception


Following calls by some journalists that my client Mr. Stephen Keshis' and others like Giovanni Trapttoni,Raymond Domenech etc have been short listed by the Cote D'Ivoire Football federation to replace former coach Herve Renard,I will like to make the following statements.

1. My client is very happy with his job as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.He has a two year contract with the Nigeria Football Federation.And as a professional,he will see out his contract.

2. My client feels highly honored to be short listed by Cote D'Ivore- a great footballing country.Like you all know he has a very good relationship with Cote D'Ivore since his playing days.It is a relationship that he cherishes and would continue to cherish all the days of his life.

3.We want to use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians to deny enemies of peace the chance they are looking for to cause distractions.We don't need these distractions.

Once more my thanks to the journalists that we're professional in their job.

God bless
Emma Ado


With little more than a discerning eye, it is clear that this Facebook statement is nothing more than a smokescreen.

Let's scratch a little below the surface of the three items in Mr Ado's statements

ITEM 1: Nobody denies the fact that Stephen Keshi has a two-year contract with the NFF. That is fact. Whether he is happy with it it, is something only Keshi and Ado know for certain.

But even if he is, that knowledge has been called into question by that Ivory Coast list. And here's why.

First, the statement on the CIV website clearly states that 'after the June 15 deadline for submission of applications, 59 applicants have INDICATED THEIR INTENTIONS (emphasis mine) to the Ivorien Football Federation.'

Keshi is listed among those 59 applicants. What Mr Ado should have done is tell us whether or not Keshi (or someone on his behalf, like Mr Ado, for instance) submitted an application to CIV indicating any such intentions. And when any such application was submitted.

That is the key question that Mr Ado neither confirmed nor (and more importantly) denied.

ITEM 2: This is just muddying the waters and adds absolutely nothing by way of enlightenment.

There are many others who played in CIV and have good relationships with the country. It doesn't mean they will be shortlisted for a job.

Again, the key question goes unanswered: Did Keshi apply to coach CIV by the deadline of June 15, 2015 or not?

ITEM 3: Even more water-muddying. 

Who are the 'enemies of peace' who are 'looking for to (sic) cause distractions'? 

Assuming they exist, did the 'enemies of peace' apply for the CIV job on Keshi's behalf?

In the same vein, did the same 'enemies of peace' publish Keshi's name on the official website of the Côte d'Ivoire football federation?

And again, why has Ado not done the simple thing, which is deny or confirm whether or not Keshi applied for the job by the June 15, 2015 deadline set by FIF.

Finally, Ado could not resist taking a dig at the media by thanking the "journalists that we're (sic) professional in their job".

This is intended as a low blow. Unfortunately, it ends up with Ado himself. Who were the journalists who were not 'professional on their job.'?

Could it be the ones who reported seeing Keshi's name on the shortlist of applicants for another job while the ink was barely dry on his current one?

Or did Ado expect the media to look at the shortlist, see Keshi's name and pretend like it wasn't there?

Just to be clear, Ado needs to categorically CONFIRM or DENY whether or not his client applied to coach CIV. And if he did, when exactly did he do so?

And to help him out, here's the question: Mr Emmanuel Ado, did Stephen Keshi (or someone representing him) send in an application to indicate interest in coaching CIV on or before the June 15, 2015 submission deadline? 

That is the only question here. A simple 'yes' or 'no' will suffice as an answer. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

UPDATE: In an email on Monday afternoon, a FIF official said 'the agent of Stephen Keshi sent his candidacy at Thursday, June 11, 2015'

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  1. Hmmm. Coach Keshi's agent can do better. This explanation has raised more questions than answers. Who applied for the CIV job and did coach Keshi give his consent? This act of indiscipline could easily cost the coach his job if found guilty.

    1. Tahir, unfortunately that seems to be the case. I think they didn't expect CIV to publish the names. That must have taken them by surprise

  2. Two sic's in 3 paragraphs ? I wont want him representing me. That's for sure.

    1. Suya, me neither. The whole statement reads like it was written by a high school dropout

  3. Colin,

    Can you do an exclusive on Manu Garba? I think soccer loving Nigerian fans deserve to know what happened in New Zealand.


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