Nigeria to vet coach Stephen Keshi's squad selection

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Stephen Keshi

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari has revealed coach Stephen Keshi will no longer be solely responsible for selecting the squad.

Maigari queried Keshi's selection for the Confederations Cup in Brazil, which Nigeria exited at the group stage, and said he is dissatisfied with the current set-up.

"The Confederations Cup is a big tournament and that's why the other teams brought their best players," Maigari told Supersport's Soccer Africa show.

"Spain brought their best players, but we did not. Why would you bring a local player to play Spain at such a big stage?

"This is unacceptable. We have experienced players that were not selected and this is where we have to step in.

'The coach doesn't have the sole responsibility on squad selection. We all have to contribute. This team belongs to 165 million people.

"Selections should affect all these people so we cannot continue to let this happen because we need to compete well with others."

Maigari received widespread criticism for his revelation that the NFF will interfere with team selection.

And Keshi has been quick to assert his belief that the NFF will not meddle in team affairs.

"I understand Nigerians are emotive and sentimental sometimes but all the players that went to Brazil deserved to be there," Keshi told BBC Sport.

"I'm the coach and I can honestly listen to constructive ideas on how we can improve as a team.

"But no-one has come to tell me who to pick and not to select. If the team fails the coach is responsible.

"As the coach, it's my decision and responsibility. For now, the local players have earned the rights to be in the team."

Back in February, Keshi offered to quit his post just hours after leading Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations crown since 1994, following disputes with the NFF.

But he made a U-turn after an emergency meeting with Nigeria's Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi in Johannesburg.