There are strong indications that the Federal Government of Nigeria, will intervene in the salary imbroglio between national team coach, Stephen Keshi, his assistants and their employers; the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
Eyeonthesports.com exclusively gathered that the Presidency was stunned when Keshi opened up to some top officials of the National Sports Commission, NSC that his salaries have not been paid since March 2013.
It was gathered from the NSC secretariat in Abuja that Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, was unhappy when the NFF boss, Alhaji Aminu Maigari confirmed to the nation that the football house owes Keshi up to seven months salaries.
The Presidency, it was scooped, has ordered the leadership of the National Sports Commission, NSC and NFF to explain why Keshi and his assistants were not paid for such a long period, especially at this crucial time when the senior national team are battling to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup slated for Brazil.
The final leg of the World Cup qualifying match against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia is less than a month away, and the government sees the salary palaver as a distraction to the country’s quest for a ticket to play at Brazil 2014 world Cup finals.
Although, Magari defended his Federation, saying the body could not meet up with its financial obligations to the Super Eagles coaches due to the lean purse of the NFF, but the action was seen as a national embarrassment.
“It is true that we are yet to pay our national coach, Stephen Keshi for about seven months, but it is a regrettable situation because we don’t have enough money settle his pay.
“He is not the only one, we are equally owing his assistants and other staff at the secretariat, while I have not received a kobo since I became the NFF President”, the NFF boss told the media recently.
Maigari, who also disclosed that nearly all the secretariat staff of the football body are being owed for months, has not made a concrete statement on when the coaches would get their pay, but his federation has been told to settle Keshi’s seven months’ salary arrears without further delay.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of telecommunication outfit, Globacom, Mike Adenuga Jnr rescued the NFF by presenting personal cars to Keshi when the NFF failed to give him an official car for over a year after he succeeded former coach Samson Siasia.
Also, the football house is yet to fully get Keshi a befitting accommodation, while his assistants, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu are equally affected.