Keshi Dismisses Match Fixing Claims, Says We Are Footballers

Scotland manager Gordon Stratchan initiated the friendly undertone to Wednesday’s two-all draw with Nigeria, by presenting a brandy with the phrase “Famous Keshi” encrusted on it to his counterpart Stephen Keshi at the Cottage, moments before kick-off. Keshi, 52, was particularly startled at the former Celtic boss’ gesture, after receiving the gift and wished he could reciprocate it immediately. “This is true friendship in football and we all, especially Nigerians must start to imbibe this type of gesture,” Keshi said.

A Nigerian Supporter Echoes Coach Stephen Keshi's Intuitions Prior to Kick-Off at Craven Cottage.
A Nigerian Supporter Echoes Coach Stephen Keshi’s Intuitions Prior to Kick-Off at Craven Cottage.

He added: “Imagine a fellow coach branding my name in a drink. It has never happened in my entire life, please help me thank him.” Uche Nwofor’s late strike earned the African champions the deserved draw after Charlie Mulgrew and an Azubuike Egwuekwe own-goal had gifted the Tartan Army the lead, in-between Michael Uchebo’s first-half strike. Keshi later took his time to dismiss match-fixing claims, alleged prior to kick-off of the World Cup warm-up. The Daily Telegraph reported a day to the friendly that the National Crime Agency (NCA) were investigating the second meeting between both nations. Keshi said after the draw: “We did [talk about it] because it’s something ridiculous, something that we don’t know where it’s coming from. “We’re not gamblers, we are football players. I don’t even know where that is coming from, we don’t know what happened, match-fixing or no match-fixing. “This is the first time I’ve been a coach or been a player and the first time I’m hearing this, match-fixing. I don’t think it had anything to do with our build-up or the game.” Nigeria departs for their World Cup training camp in Houston, Texas on Thursday. They will play further friendly internationals against Greece and the United States before getting down to business in Brazil. The Eagles will play Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in Group F of next month’s tournament.