Out of contract Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi may be returning to Mali to handle that country’s senior national team, the Eagles.
The Malian Football Association, otherwise known as FEMAFOOT revealed early today that Keshi is one of the three coaches they received applications from after the sack of Mali’s Franco-Polish coach Henryk Kasperczak.
FEMAFOOT says in a statement today that the Franco-Polish coach Henryk Kasperczak is no longer in charge of the Malian Eagles.
“The Malian Football Association’s chairman, Boubacar Baba Diarra, and his deputy in charge of the national teams Boukary Sidibé met with Henryk Kasperczak on Saturday. Following a cordial exchange, both parties decided to put an end to their contract,” FEMAFOOT announced in a press release.
After a first spell on the Mali bench in 2001-2002, Kasperczak had made his return at the head of the Eagles in December 2013 to lead them to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations’ finals, where they suffered a first round exit following a drawing of lots between them and Guinea.
A new head coach should be unveiled before 25 March when Mali are set to face Gabon in France in an international friendly.
According to Boukary Sidibé, FEMAFOOT received already several applications including those of former Eagles’ bosses Alain Giresse, Patrice Carteron and Stephen Keshi.
The Nigeria worked as manager of the Mali national football team, after being appointed in April 2008 on a two-year deal. Keshi was sacked in January 2010, after Mali’s early exit in the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, a member of the Senate Committee on Sports has accused the Nigeria Football Federation of ‘celebrating failure’ over its decision to hand a new contract to Keshi.
Heineken Lokpobiri, an influential two-term senator who represents Bayelsa West, said that the NFF was playing politics with the job of the coach when the man failed to lead the Super Eagles to the last Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
While the NFF has acted like its hands are tied over the decision to re-hire Keshi, it also did not show it was interested in making the job available beyond a single candidate.
“I was the former chairman of the Sports Committee between 2007 and 2011 and I know the politics and intrigues which have been playing out in the country’s football house,” Lokpobiri said.
“Are we trying to celebrate failure?
“I’m aware that Siasia was sacked after he failed to qualify the country for the 2013 Nations Cup.
“Keshi was given all the support even more than Siasia, yet he failed to qualify the country for Afcon.
“So I don’t see any reason why NFF should be talking about giving Keshi another contract,” he queried.