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Feb 11, 2013

Keshi quits Nigeria post

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has told South African radio station Metro FM that he has resigned, less than 24 hours after leading his country to the African Nations Cup title.

• Blog: Nigeria and four other lessons

Keshi saw his side beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in Sunday's final to claim their third Nations Cup title but the manager chose to walk away from the Super Eagles after clashing with the Nigerian Football Federation prior to the game.

Keshi told Metro FM, part of public broadcaster SABC: "I did what I feel is right by resigning. I gave the NFF a letter last night [Sunday] after the celebrations."

Shortly afterward, Metro FM presenter Robert Marawa tweeted: "Stephen Keshi has just announced that he handed over his resignation letter after the game exclusively on 083Sport@6 With Marawa on MetroFM''.

Keshi, who made 51 appearances for Nigeria as a player, revealed tensions between himself and the NFF before the semi-finals of the tournament, telling a press conference he would "pack his bags and leave'' if he felt unwanted.

Ahead of their quarter-final against tournament favourites Ivory Coast, it was reported that Nigerian officials had booked a flight home for the squad, due to depart immediately after the game. The move was seen by Keshi as a vote of no confidence, but Nigeria won the match 2-1.

Keshi, only the second man to win the Nations Cup as a player and a coach - following Egypt's Mahmoud El Gohary - said after victory in the final that he wanted to see other African countries give local coaches a chance rather than continuing to import from abroad.

He told Nigerian newspaper Vanguard: "My dream was to make Nigerians happy. We are not there yet. This is a work in progress but I want to dedicate this to all Nigerian coaches, who have been praying for this.

"In Africa, they give you a job today and want you to win the World Cup the next day. This cannot work. You have to give local coaches a chance. To succeed, we need time and I thank God that all the years of waiting have finally ended.

"Our people do not know how to give you time to get your programme through. These things take time but people seem not to care about it. But I thank God for seeing us through.

"There is a lot of potential in this team. I needed to push them and they responded. They were great as a team.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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