Stephen Keshi

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Stephen Keshi
Personal information
Full name Stephen Okechukwu Keshi
Date of birth (1962-01-23) 23 January 1962 (age 54)[1]
Place of birth Azare, Bauchi State, Nigeria
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979 ACB Lagos 10 (1)
1980–1984 New Nigeria Bank 42 (4)
1985 Stade d'Abidjan 13 (2)
1986 Africa Sports 22 (2)
1986–1987 Lokeren 28 (6)
1987–1991 Anderlecht 99 (18)
1991–1993 RC Strasbourg 62 (9)
1993–1994 RWDM 40 (1)
1995 CCV Hydra 20 (1)
1996 Sacramento Scorpions 16 (3)
1997–1998 Perlis FA 34 (4)
Total 386 (51)
National team
1981–1995 Nigeria 64 (9)
Teams managed
2004–2006 Togo
2007–2008 Togo
2008–2010 Mali
2011 Togo
2011–2015 Nigeria

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi (born 23 January 1962) is a Nigerian former football defender. He is a former football manager of Nigeria National team. He is one of only two people, along with Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.

Coaching career[edit]

After a playing career mostly with Belgian clubs, Keshi went to the United States to be educated in coaching.

In 1996 he was joined by Augustine Eguavoen, who once coached the Nigerian national team. They played together in California as the backbone of the defence for the short-lived Sacramento Scorpions. Keshi has been a part of the coaching staff for the Nigerian national team, most notably as head coach for the Junior Eagles at the 2001 African Youth Championship which also served as qualification for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, without success.

Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team, surprisingly bringing them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. Having secured Togo's unlikely qualification, he was promptly replaced by German coach Otto Pfister prior to the World Cup finals, after Togo showed a dismal performance and failed to advance to the knock-out stage in 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

However, Pfister did not last beyond a controversial World Cup campaign that nearly resulted in a player's strike over pay and Togo remained without a manager until February 2007 when they re-engaged Keshi in time for a friendly against Cameroon.

He worked as manager of the Mali national football team, after being appointed in April 2008 on a two-year deal.[2] Keshi was sacked in January 2010, after Mali's early exit in the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.[3]

Keshi became coach of the Nigerian National Team in 2011.[4][5] He led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which they went on to win, defeating Burkina Faso 1–0 in the final.[6] The following day Keshi handed in his resignation,[7] only to reverse his decision the day after.[8] Keshi led Nigeria to the 2013 Confederations Cup, defeated Tahiti 6–1, and lost 1–2 to Uruguay in the second game, and also lost 0–3 to World Cup winners, Spain in their final group game.

On 16 November 2013, Keshi's Nigeria secured qualification to the 2014 World Cup by beating Ethiopia 4–1 on aggregate in a play-off.[9]

On 18 November 2013, Stephen keshi set a record in African football by being the first African coach to successfully qualify two African nations (Nigeria and Togo) to the World Cup Finals. He also helped Nigeria become the first country to achieve an African Cup of Nations trophy and World Cup qualification, both in 2013.

On 25 June 2014, Keshi's Nigeria progressed to the knockout stage of 2014 World Cup. They started the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Iran, followed by a controversial 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. They lost the final group stage match 2-3 against Argentina, but progressed to the knockout stage, courtesy of a 3-1 win by Bosnia and Herzegovina over Iran.

On 30 June 2014, the Super Eagles lost to France in a 2014 World Cup Round of 16 match. After the match, Keshi announced his resignation as Super Eagles coach[10] but later reversed the decision after the Nigerian Football Federation renewed his contract.[11]

On 14 October 2014, his team failed to win a single game in the ongoing Morocco 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying series and he announced he would move to another job if pressure continues to mount because of certain people, whom he refused to name, were trying to "sabotage" him. However, he stated that he will continue to coach the Super Eagles because he loves the team and he loves his country.

In July 2015, following Nigeria's exit from the World Cup, Keshi's contract with the Nigerian Football Federation expired and was not renewed.[12] A statement by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee said the decision was made, having thoroughly reviewed the reports/findings of the NFF Disciplinary Committee and NFF Technical and Development Committee, as well as having reviewed the actions and inaction of Stephen Keshi, in the performance of his duties as Super Eagles' Head Coach, which NFF found to lack the required commitment to achieve the Federation's objectives as set out in the Coach's employment contract.




New Nigeria Bank FC

  • West African Club Championship (2): 1983, 1984

Stade d'Abidjan

  • Coupe Houphoet Boigny (2): 1985, 1986

Africa Sports

  • Côte d'Ivoire Premier Division (1): 1986
  • Côte d'Ivoire Coupe (1): 1986








  1. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Stephen KESHI". Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  2. ^ "Keshi opts for Mali national team". BBC. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Keshi sacked as Mali boss". BBC. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "NFF to Announce Keshi as Eagles Coach". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Stephen Keshi confident of Super Eagles revival". BBC Sport. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nigeria v Burkina Faso – as it happened". Guardian UK. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi hands in resignation one day after winning African title". 9 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Nigeria's Stephen Keshi reverses resignation and opts to stay on". Guardian UK. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "World Cup 2014: Nigeria beat Ethiopia to book berth in Brazil". BBC. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Breaking News! Keshi Resigns, Yobo retires from Super Eagles:". NNP. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (2014-08-22). "Keshi 'moves on' from talks to return as Nigeria coach.". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  12. ^ "Stephen Keshi: Nigeria did not renew my contract". BBC Sport. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  13. ^ "Keshi is Coach of the Year - Football News - CAF". Retrieved 2014-05-17. 

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