World Cup: Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi calls for fan backing
Last Updated: 25/06/14 9:44am
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he would walk away from the squad if he was among these being targeted by supporters.
The Super Eagles have gone unbeaten through their opening two fixtures at the World Cup finals, drawing 0-0 with Iran and edging out Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0.
They are the only side in the competition yet to concede a goal and head into a meeting with much-fancied Argentina on Wednesday confident of booking a place in the last-16.
Certain sections of their fan base remain unimpressed, though, and have been airing their displeasure from the stands.
The fans have gone to the extent of insulting the players and their families. So how will they get inspired or motivated? If I were a player now, I’d stop playing for the national team.
Keshi has been left stunned by the abuse and has warned those dishing it out that they risk driving players away from the national side.
He said: “England and Spain are out of the World Cup, and nobody in these countries has raised hell about their team’s performances, yet we get criticised for drawing with Iran.
“The fans have gone to the extent of insulting the players and their families. So how will they get inspired or motivated?
“They keep insulting the players and yet you want them to keep playing for Nigeria?
“If I were a player now, I’d stop playing for the national team.
“It is a shame what our fans are doing. They thought Iran was easy but they saw how difficult it was for Argentina to beat them.
“To be honest, I’m hugely disappointed. They should just give us a break.
“You have to support your team to the end, not insult them.”