Former captain Stephen Keshi given Nigeria revival task

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi
Nigeria's new coach Stephen Keshi has had spells in charge of Togo and Mali

Nigeria have appointed former captain Stephen Keshi as the coach to revive the fortunes of the Super Eagles.

The 49-year-old, who captained Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup finals, was previously in charge of Mali and Togo at international level.

Keshi was also part of the last Nigerian side to win the Africa Cup of Nations - as they did in 1994.

"It was a unanimous decision taken by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for the appointment of Stephen Keshi as the new head coach of the national team," said NFF deputy president Mike Umeh.

The NFF's Executive Committee met in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Wednesday and deliberated on the recommendations of the body's Technical Committee, who had recommended Keshi.

Having been given a deal that goes until 2014, Keshi has been handed the mandate of taking Nigeria to both the 2013 Nations Cup and the World Cup the following year.

His contract includes a stipulation that he must qualify for South Africa 2013 and reach the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Keshi will be free to choose his assistant.

There was no news on whether a Technical Director will be appointed to oversee Keshi's role.

The BBC's Aliyu Tanko in Abuja says Keshi's appointment is a popular one in Nigeria.

This is mainly because Keshi achieved a major qualifying success when leading unfancied Togo to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The NFF's technical committee has also been mandated to meet again next week to recommend people for other positions - of national technical director, head coach of the women's national team as well as the technical crews for the under-17 and under-20 women's teams.

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