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Football: Keshi says he has quit as Nigeria coach

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told a South African radio station Monday that he had resigned after leading his country to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title.

"I gave the national football federation my letter of resignation immediately after the final, but I have not heard from them," Keshi admitted to public broadcaster SABC.

Keshi dropped hints last week of his unhappiness with Nigerian football bofficials during a media conference in Durban before the semi-final drubbing of Mali, saying he would "pack his bags and leave" if unwanted.

"If, back home, they do not like what I am doing, well, you cannot force someone to like you," said only the second Nations Cup-winning coach after the late Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary to also achieve the feat as a player.

Keshi captained Nigeria to victory over Zambia in the 1994 final and guided his country to a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso Sunday in a Soweto final settled by a Sunday Mba goal five minutes before half-time.

He spoke highly of Mali last week and said he would not mind returning to a country he coached at the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola only to lose his job after a first-round elimination.

"It is a place that I love, Malians are wonderful people. Should the chance arise, I will go back there," said the 51-year-old who also had two spells with Togo before replacing sacked Samson Siasai as Nigeria coach two years ago.

His playing career spanned clubs in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Belgium, France, the United States and Malaysia and he was an outstanding centre-back for the national team.

Calls to Keshi went unanswered and no Nigerian official was immediately available for comment. The triumphant squad are scheduled to arrive home Tuesday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130211/football-keshi-says-he-has-quit-nigeria-coach