Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has put the celebration of his 52nd birthday on hold, stressing the need for the team to finish off the job they’ve started in the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Keshi added one more year on Thursday, but is more concerned about Saturday’s quarter-final tie against the Atlas Lions of Morocco.
“As a matter of fact we have suspended any form of celebration till we achieve what we came here to do in South Africa,” said Keshi.
Nonetheless, the management of Green Court Hotel, put together a brief but surprise birthday package for the former Mali and Togo coach during lunch hour, as birthday balloons donned every corner of the team’s dinning hall and a well-decorated cake designed for the special occasion was placed before the tactician.
“All these for me, I’m surprised but very grateful,” the coach added.
The players also sang birthday song for their head coach.
Meanwhile, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, was one of the first to wish the coach a happy birthday via phone call.
Maigari said in his message: “On our part in the NFF, I can assure you that support will not be lacking despite the huge challenge of funding football”.
“We congratulate you on the occasion of your birthday and while wishing you many happy returns we pray that you continue to bring Nigeria joy through excellent coaching of the national team with the immediate task being victory at the ongoing CHAN tourney”.
Chairman of the NFF technical sub-committee, Barrister Chris Green was among other well-wishers to have sent their messages to the Afcon 2013 winner.
The team’s training is in full gear at the Green Point training ground in Cape town in preparation for Saturday’s game against Morocco.