I won't abandon Nigeria, insists Keshi

Despite more lucrative offers to coach elsewhere, the 51-year-old insists he will not leave his post with the Super Eagles due to the pride he feels at the helm of the side
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi insists he will not "abandon" his post at the team despite recent issues over unpaid wages.

The 51-year-old was only paid seven months' worth of outstanding wages in full at the beginning of November, while the Super Eagles' players are also facing a lower rate of bonus for reaching the World Cup than some of their African counterparts.

However, Keshi maintains his love for his country will ensure he stays in the role despite having received lucrative offers to coach elsewhere.

"It is the love that I have for my country that has kept me in this place ever since," he told SuperSport.

"I go outside into the shops and markets and ordinary Nigerians in the streets are thanking me and asking God to continue to bless me. It humbles me.

"It makes me realise the responsibilities I have to these people and I keep at the job.

"I also have a fantastic group of young footballers, who I sincerely do not want to abandon at this moment.

"I have four offers on the table for me that will triple my wages but because of the reasons I have given I have told those offers to please go elsewhere."

Keshi admits he is angered that the Africa Cup of Nations champions have been hit with substantial bonus cuts in recent months, but insists the team is fully focused on overcoming Ethiopia in the second leg of their World Cup play-off.

"Where else in this world do you hear or read of a successful team having their bonuses slashed? When one thinks about it like that it shows how incongruous the whole thing looks really.," he added.

"Ghana players were on $15,000 per man to beat Egypt while the Egyptians were on $25,000 per man, yet the African Champions are being offered $5,000. That is Nigerian football administration sense.

"My players are just determined to play in the World Cup. That is why they really don't care so much even though they know what happens in other countries."

The Super Eagles will have a chance to secure their place in Brazil on Saturday as they carry a 2-1 advantage back to Nigeria for the second leg of their play-off against Ethiopia.