Stephen Keshi says he will take his time to make the “difficult” decision of whether to return as coach of the Nigeria national side.
Keshi was axed from the role earlier this month with the Super Eagles third in their African Nations Cup qualification pool and was replaced by a consortium of coaches headed by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical director Shaibu Amodu.
Following the intervention of the country’s president Goodluck Jonathan this week, and a request from Amodu himself that Keshi be allowed to finish the qualification campaign for the continental finals in Morocco, the 52-year-old has been sounded out about taking his old job back.
“It is a very, very difficult decision. I am not sure I would say ‘no’ for now or ‘yes’ to the order,” Keshi told reporters after meeting with sports minister Tammy Danagogo on Thursday.
“I still have to think about it because we all want peace. I want a settled mind before making the decision. I don’t have issues with anybody because life is too short. This is my country. I am always willing to offer my service.”
Keshi said money would not determine his decision.
“If I desperately wanted a contract, I would have opted for the offer made by Equatorial Guinea because the offer they made was bigger than what Nigeria offered. But this is my country and I want to serve it.”
Keshi, a former captain of the national team, led the side to the 2013 Nations Cup title in South Africa and also helped the Super Eagles qualify for the World Cup in Brazil this year, where they reached the second round before losing to France.
The 3-1 victory over Sudan in his last game in charge on Oct. 15 leaves the side four points behind leaders South Africa and three behind second-placed Congo in their qualification group with those two sides left to play home and away respectively in November.
The top two sides, as well as the best third-place finisher, advance to the finals in Morocco.