President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has said the country has suffered a cosmic loss with the demise of former Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi.
“This is devastating. We have lost a super hero,” said Pinnick.
Pinnick confirmed he had been in contact with the family and would lead a delegation of some NFF Board and Congress members to Benin City on Thursday.
“The NFF board will meet and decide on the best way to honour Stephen Keshi. We will be fully involved in the arrangements for the final burial rites.”
Pinnick has directed that all centres hosting matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League on Wednesday should observe a minute’s silence before kick –off.
The NFF have already informed the Confederation of African Football and the world body, FIFA about the passing of the legend.
Former Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen, who played alongside the late coach for the Super Eagles, said he remembers giving way for Keshi to receive the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations even if
“I recall I allowed him to receive the trophy when we won the 1994 Nations Cup even though he did not play the final. Nobody ordered me to do this,” said Eguavoen.
He added: “It’s a huge loss to the nation. He was a leader on the pitch, he represented the coach on the pitch, he may not have been that much of a technician, but tactically he was very good and he played for a top club like Anderlecht.
“He stood for what he believes and that may be why he had problems with the NFF.”
Nigeria caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf said he is still in a shock over the death of ‘Big Boss’ Keshi.
“It’s a big shock. He wished me luck before our match against Luxembourg just last month,” Yusuf told media.
“He was an easy-going gentleman, a father who learnt from when I assisted him last year.”