Keshi continues as Nigeria coach despite no NFF talks

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi insists he is focused on taking charge of Nigeria for this month's Africa Cup of Nations double-header against Sudan despite having no contract in place.

The 52-year-old lost his permanent position after the World Cup but was brought back for the Super Eagles' last two matches.

He has had no word from the newly-elected Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board, but says he will continue in the role.

"I'm still working based on the previous arrangement agreed with the Sports Minister Tamuno Danagogo," Keshi told BBC Sport.

"I've not heard from the new NFF board because elections only happened on Tuesday so it is not a problem.

"My immediate focus is on the important matches against Sudan this month because it is very crucial for us to win both games."

The never-ending story
Talks between Keshi and the NFF over a new contract have been on and off since July

Keshi, who led Nigeria to their third African title in 2013 and the last 16 in Brazil, must lead his side to a recovery after their poor start to qualifying for next year's tournament in Morocco.

Following a defeat by Congo and a draw with South Africa, the Super Eagles are third in Group A, with only the top two teams guaranteed a place at the finals.

It places extra pressure on the African champions to win their match away to Sudan, which will take place on 11 October, and the return fixture four days later in Abuja.

And local media reports suggests the back-to-back fixtures against Sudan will decide whether the former Nigeria captain will earn a new contract or not.

"I have named a squad strong enough for these games and the plan is to get the players together early enough to prepare," said Keshi.

"We can't bother ourselves with the speculations in the media. When you take care of business on the pitch then other things will be secondary."

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