President Sepp Blatter of world soccer's governing body FIFA has hailed Nigeria's head coach Stephen Keshi for leading his country's national football team to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa earlier this month.
According to local media reports Tuesday, the commendation was contained in a letter sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by Blatter.
“Please convey my warmest wishes to all of the players, the technical and medical staff, and in particular to Stephen Keshi – only the second man to lift the trophy as both captain and national team coach,' the FIFA president said in the letter, dated 14 Feb.
'Stephen is a great example to other African associations of what they can achieve through long-term planning and employing local coaches, and I commend your appointment,' he said.
Nigeria beat surprise finalist Burkina Faso 1-0 on 10 Feb. in Johannesburg to lift the Nations Cup for the first time in 19 years and for the third time overall.
Keshi was the captain of the Nigerian team that last won the tournament in 1994.