Nigeria coach steps down

Defender Joseph Yobo has retired from international football.

Stephen Keshi stepped down as Nigeria coach following the 2014 Fifa World Cup defeat to France. Picture: Facebook.

SAO PAULO - Stephen Keshi has announced he is stepping down as Nigeria coach following the Fifa World Cup defeat to France, while defender Joseph Yobo has retired from international football.

The Super Eagles pushed France hard in their second round match in Brasilia only for Paul Pogba's late header and a last-gasp own goal by Yobo to seal a 2-0 win for "Les Bleus".

It appears that will be Nigeria's final match under Keshi, who said: "It's time for me to go back to my family and face fresh challenges."

He said on this Twitter account: "Friends, it has been a good run and I have enjoyed every moment. It's been an honor coaching the Super Eagles. It is however time to bow out."

The 52-year-old, who took over in 2011, has been linked with the South Africa job.

Keshi has resigned his post once before, a day after winning last year's Caf Africa Cup of Nations, but was persuaded to stay on.

Former Everton centre-half Yobo is also on his way out. The Fenerbahce defender became the first Nigerian to win 100 caps during the game against "Les Bleus" and confirmed soon afterwards he would not be adding to the landmark.

"This is it. I can look back on my career with great pride," he told BBC Sport. "I wanted to leave on a high for my country. Defeat by France was not the right way to go but I'm happy with all I've done for the national team.

"It's time to give a chance to other people to come through. Our football has a bright future and I am confident this team can achieve success sooner rather than later."