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Feb 12, 2013

Keshi withdraws Nigeria resignation

Stephen Keshi has performed a dramatic U-turn on his decision to quit as Nigeria coach, with the Africa Nations Cup-winning boss revealing he will now continue in the post after talks with the country's sports minister.

• Moonda: Nigeria and four lessons

Keshi led the Super Eagles to continental glory on Sunday for the first time in 19 years, but after rumblings of discontent with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) bubbled below the surface throughout the tournament, the former defender told South African radio station Metro FM on Monday that he had tendered his resignation.

However, less than 24 hours later Keshi has reversed his decision following a meeting with Nigeria sports minister Boloaji Abdullahi.

A statement from the 51-year-old coach, released by the NFF, said: "My attention has been drawn to reports in the media that I have resigned my appointment as the head coach of Super Eagles of Nigeria.

"While I have had cause to express my displeasure over some issues that happened in the course of our participation in the AFCON 2013, which my team won by the grace of God, especially concerning my relationship with the Nigerian Football Federation, I have since had opportunity to discuss the various issues with all concerned.

"I am therefore pleased to say that I have reconsidered my position and have decided to continue with my job. I want to thank the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift and kind intervention."

Keshi has received plenty of plaudits for ending Nigeria's long wait for African Nations Cup glory and in guiding the Super Eagles to a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the final he became only the second man - after Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary - to win the competition as both a player and coach.

Nigeria are currently top of their World Cup qualifying group for Brazil 2014, ahead of Namibia, Malawi and Kenya after two games.

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