Keshi back in Equatorial Guinea frame

KeshiThe Equatorial Guinea coaching musical chair seems to have taken a new twist as reports emerged that Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi is in the running to replace Spanish coach Andoni Goikoetxea.

This followed his sack from Nigeria after a spate of bad results during their training camp in Portugal.

Keshi, who failed to qualify Nigeria for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, has long been touted as the man to lead the Nzalang National when the tournament starts on January 17; but Goikoetxea got the nod ahead of the former Mali and Togo coach.

With barely time to prepare and one of the few teams not to have announced a provisional squad, Equatorial Guinea are said to be looking at Keshi, who was at the draw for the tournament held in Malabo despite Nigeria missing out of the tournament.

The team had earlier lost to Portuguese fourth tier side Vilafranquense and Benfica’s B side at the Portuguese training camp which sealed Goikoetxea’s fate.

Equatorial Guinea replaced Morocco as hosts of the 2015 edition of the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations after the North Africans declined to host the tournament because of fears over the Ebola virus.

Argentine coach, Esteban Becker, who coaches the Equatorial Guinea women’s team is temporarily in charge pending the announcement of a coach after the sack of Goikoetxea.

Stephen Keshi became a hero in Africa after he led a relatively inexperienced Super Eagles side to an unexpected triumph at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

Equatorial Guinea are in Group A of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations alongside neighbours Gabon, Burkina Faso and Congo. —

In a related development, Bouna Sarr has turned down the chance to play for Guinea at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, his French club Metz announced on Saturday.

French-born Sarr was named by Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer in his squad for the for the 17 January to 8 February finals last week.

It has been confirmed that the 22 year old declined the invitation.

Sarr’s French club, Metz, explained his decision on their official website.

“Bouna Sarr was selected by Michel Dussuyer to be part of the Guinea team, which comes as a surprise.

“But the young French-Guinean midfielder, who is at a crucial stage of his career eventually preferred, with a heavy heart, to reject the call-up to the Syli Nationale and focus on his career with FC Metz,” the club announced.

Dussuyer, who has already been forced to respect the wishes of Ismael Bangoura not to play at the Nations Cup in order to concentrate on his French club Nantes, is expected to announce a replacement for Sarr next week.

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