Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles Head Coach on Monday raised alarm over plans by some individuals to sabotage the team’s qualifying campaign for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Eagles on Saturday lost to Sudan 0-1 in a match they needed to win, thereby endangering Nigeria’s qualification for the AFCON 2015.
It was also Sudan’s first goal in the qualifying race, having lost at home 3-0 to South Africa and humbled 2-0 in Congo Brazzaville.
It was Sudan’s first victory over the Super Eagles since 1967.
Keshi, however, told newsmen after the team’s training on Monday evening that some people were out to sabotage the team’s effort to qualify for the AFCON 2015 because of their personal interest.
“The criticism is not about the game, its propaganda. It’s something people just want to do to kill this team that we are trying to put together because of self interest.
“This is our country, we don’t have to sell it and it’s not for sale.
“If you don’t want to support us just keep quiet but if you are to contribute to their success, then come and cheer the team.
“If some people are going around sabotaging the team not to succeed, then, we are killing ourselves.
“If we don’t go to Morocco, you (journalists) are not going to be; Nigerians will only be watching other countries on television,’’ Keshi said.
The big boss, as Keshi is popularly called, noted that he had prepared for the worst case scenario should the team fail to qualify for the AFCON 2015.
He said that the call for his sack was not unusual as far as coaching was concerned.
“Coaches are employed and sacked; I have been to other countries and I have never been sacked but if it comes in Nigeria, no problem, I will take it.
“I have been here before in 2002 with Amodu Shuaibu, when we qualified the Super Eagles for the World Cup but we were asked to leave after winning third place at the AFCON in Mali.
“It’s not about the game; it’s about personal interest; so if tomorrow they say Keshi leave, no problem, I will go because about three countries are waiting.
“Nigeria is not the last place football will be played and it will not be the last place I will coach,’’ Keshi added.
He said the team was focused than ever to make Nigerians happy in Wednesday’s return-leg AFCON 2015 qualifying match against Sudan at the National Stadium Abuja.
Keshi also said that the players had resolved not to be distracted with the loss in Sudan but to use the return-leg encounter to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
The Eagles handler noted that the country would be the loser if the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the AFCON 2015.
This, he pointed out, would have defeated the aim of defending the trophy it won in 2013.