Stephen Keshi is the Nigeria manager. Again. And you are forgiven if you forgot he ever left.
Nigeria have appointed Keshi its leader for a third time in three years. This is after he has won the 2013 African championship, the Cup of Nations, and after his contract wasn’t extended following last summer’s World Cup. He was recently brought back on a match-by-match basis, but he failed to qualify the country of the 2015 Cup of Nations,* he was let go again.
* Can you really fire a guy you only hired on a match-by-match basis?
But now Keshi, a long-time defender for the national team, is back, because he will forever be Nigeria’s manager, probably. This is what Nigeria has become. Or have been for a while.
In 2010, the country was banned by FIFA for government interference, then reinstated. Then banned again, then reinstated. It hires a head coach, then fires him. It hires him again, then he quits, but only for a day before coming back. Then it fires him, only to bring him back because the president of the country vetoed his firing, but then he gets fired again. Then it brings him back, again. And by the time the team fires the next man, it will probably be banned by FIFA again. If not, then Nigeria will certainly be banned by the next time it hires Keshi.
Nigeria remains one of the best talent producers in all of Africa. It should be one of the dominant teams on the continent and an emerging team globally. But this is Nigeria, where they can’t even keep from being banned by FIFA. But at least they can keep Keshi, whether they want to or not.