Keshi’s Controversial Contract

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Keshi

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CONTROVERSY has continued to dog the appointment of a new coach for the Nigerian Super Eagles. On Monday, March 2, an agent working for Stephen Keshi, former coach of the Super Eagles, was quoted as saying the new deal being offered to Keshi was a “slave contract” and that the former Eagles’ captain would not accept it.

But Shuaib Amodu, former Super Eagles man­ager and technical director of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, said there was nothing wrong with the fresh contract which the NFF, nation’s soccer gov­erning body, was of­fering Keshi.

Amodu, who spoke on a television programme, insisted that the clauses which Keshi was complaining about were ones that should make the coach deliver. He insisted that rather than go to the press, Keshi should have drawn the attention of his employers to what­ever problems he had with the offer. He promised to assist Keshi or whoever is eventually hired as new Super Eagles manager to succeed.

On his part, Adegboye Onigbinde, another former Super Eagles coach, blamed the NFF for allowing the lingering controversy over the appointment of a new coach for the national team. Onigbinde said the federation first made the mistake by failing to advertise the job. “I’m getting concerned that this is taking too long. A couple of weeks ago the NFF said Keshi was the only candidate who applied for the job and I asked, when was the job advertised? How many people applied? When were they screened and interviewed? I wouldn’t have been asking these questions if they said they were reconsidering Keshi’s contract. But to say that he is the only person that applied for a job that was not advertised shows that we are being economical with truth.

“Keshi about two weeks ago said nobody was talking to him, so how did they come up with the contract? Contracts are supposed to be negotiated. If he said they were not talking to him and a contract suddenly surfaces; that is where it becomes slavery. Such a contract will be lopsided. A lot of things were wrong. The people in authority know what they are doing and they know why they are doing what they are doing,” he said.

Super Eagles have been without a coach since November 2014, when Nigeria failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, and in about two weeks now, the federation has stuck in a controversy with Keshi over the details of contract proposal handed him.

Blatter Wants Stiffer Punishments for Racial Abuse

Blatter
Blatter

SEPP Blatter, president of the FIFA, wants teams involved in racial incidents to suffer more severe punishment like the docking of league points. Blatter, who will be seeking a fifth term at the FIFA presidential election on May 29, made the suggestion on Wednesday, March 4, in Paraguay. He said: “The biggest problem we’ve had in recent days here in this continent is racism, discrimination. This is unacceptable.”

Speaking to the presidents of South American football confederations and other officials at the start of CONMEBOL’s congress at its Paraguayan headquarters, he added: “We must deduct points, relegate a team. The moment we have the courage to do that discrimination will end.” But despite the frequency of racial incidents in recent time, the FIFA boss believes racism would be eradicated from football one day. “We have the regulations but they are not being applied in the whole world by the disciplinary and control bodies,” Blatter, who will be seeking a fifth term at the Fifa presidential election on May 29, said

There have been frequent cases of racial abuse of players in Europe and South America, in recent years, but the FIFA president said fines or the closing of stadiums were not enough punishment.

The most recent case of racism in South America involved Luis Tejada, a Panama striker and Juan Aurich, a Peruvian side, who walked off the pitch during a match after being racially insulted by fans of Cienciano.

N1.6 Million for Grabs at School Athletics Championships

Governor Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State
Governor Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State

MORE than N1.6 million would be up for grabs at the 14th AKS/NNPC/MPN Schools Athletics Championships by students vying for top spots in competition scheduled for Saturday, March 7. Lucia Iyuen, camp commandant, disclosed this to participants of Wednesday, while opening the camp to prepare them for the competition. The main event will take place at the ultra-modern Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Ituen said that in addition to the prospect of winning and laying a good foundation for themselves in track and field, there would be immediate gains to be reaped. “Let me inform all of you that the sponsors of this programme, the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture have set aside more than N1.6 million cash as supplementary scholarship grant to those who will win their various events on Saturday. Every first prize winner is expected to go home with N30, 000 cash, second prize N20,000 and third prize N10,000,” she said, adding: “You can imagine one of you here winning three events and going home with N90,000. That, if you ask me, is a lot of money for a secondary school student.”

The one-off scholarship grant was introduced to the programme 10 years ago to help the students with their academics challenges and to alleviate the burden on their parents. The students reported to camp on Tuesday, March 3, in preparation for the event.

Phelps Considers for World Championships

Phelps
Phelps

MICHAEL Phelps, an American 18-time Olympic gold medallist, may be allowed to compete at the World Championships in Russia after originally being banned. The 29-year-old Olympian was given a six-month competitive ban plus exclusion from the Worlds later this year after being convicted of drink-driving. Chuck Wielgus, director of the United States Swimming, told ESPN:  “It’s complicated, but there are ways in which it could happen. There’s a pathway for things to be reconsidered or considered.”

Phelps is expected to make his comeback at the US Grand Prix in Arizona, in April when his suspension ends. He announced he was quitting the sport after London 2012, but changed his mind and is preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has already qualified for the US team for the World Championships in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m medley and would probably be included in three relays.  The championships are being held in Kazan from July 24, to August 9. Phelps was given a one-year suspended prison term and sentenced to 18 months of probation by the courts following a drink-driving incident in Baltimore, his home town, in September 2014.

— Mar. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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