Nigeria has unveiled a new soccer coach for the national team the Super Eagles after sacking Samson Siasia, only months after his appointment.
ABUJA, NIGERIA (NOVEMBER 10, 2011) (REUTERS - The Nigeria Football Federation have appointed Stephen Keshi as national team coach replacing Samson Siasia, who was sacked last week after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup.
Speaking at a packed news conference announcing his new position, Keshi said he was delighted to step up to the challenge after spending time playing in Belgium and learning coaching in the United States.
"It wasn't a very difficult decision for me to come back to Nigeria, I had other offers, I was on the verge of signing when I was called upon but I had to make a u-turn, its my land calling, its my blood, so I thank God that I am here for this opportunity," he said.
Keshi, former captain of the Super Eagles squad that qualified for the World Cup in 1994 and beat Zambia to take the Africa Cup of Nations championship that same year, said he would do his best to reverse the team's recent misfortunes after a disastrous failure to qualify for next year's Africa Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
"I am not going to promise you I will take you to heaven but I tell you, I will give you 200 percent of my hard work," added Keshi.
After signing contract papers and shaking hands with Nigeria Football Federation President Aminu Maigari, Keshi was presented with a team jersey by sacked coach Samson Siasia.
Siasia's dismissal came after a meeting last month with the Nigeria Football Federation who said his position had become untenable when the team failed to qualify for Africa's top soccer tournament.
Keshi's first challenge will be to lead the squad out against Botswana and Zambia in international friendly matches next week.