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Esin Wants Memorial Match for Keshi




As the first memorial of former Nigerian skipper and coach, Stephen Keshi, approaches, a match has been suggested in his memory.
Former international, Etim Esin who played alongside the late skipper, has called for the memorial match.
Esin, who was a member of the 1987 class of Flying Eagles and later featured for the national team called for the congregation of the 1994 and 2013 Super Eagles.
The late Keshi captained the 1994 squad to Africa Nations Cup victory and qualification for World Cup and coached that of 2013 to win the Africa Cup.
Keshi who passed on after a brief illness on June 7 last year is revered as one of the two have won Africa Nations Cup as player and later as coach.
Esin in a phone conversation with said “it will sound embarrassing to see we ex internationals and current Super Eagles team neglect the one year remembrance without playing a novelty match.”
In his words: “I can’t wait to see ex internationals and 2013 AFCON cup-winning side playing in honour of Keshi.
“He was a rare legend among his peers. Through him a lot of Nigerian footballers travelled to Europe, especially Belgium. He was known for his never say die spirit he normally showed on the field of play.
“Am sure his family will certainly be expecting a lot from all Super Eagles stars.”
Continuing, Esin remarked that organising such a novel match is made easier as most of the active players expected from Europe will be free as the seasons are coming to a close.
“We his teammates based in Nigeria shall be happy seeing the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) showing support towards the one year remembrance of an icon.” He said.
The late Anderlecht F.C of Belgium died at age 54 played his last game for Nigeria on June 30, 1994 when the Super Eagles beat Greece 2-0 at the USA ’94 World Cup.
His last match as handler of the Nigerian team also ended in 2-0 for the Super Eagles which beat Chad on June 13, 2015 in an Africa Cup qualifying duel in Kaduna.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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