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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Obey Oliseh, NFF Warns Eagles After Enyeama’s Exit

In a move to quench possible rebellion in the Super Eagles after a quarrel between the coach, Sunday Oliseh, and the erstwhile captain of the team, Vincent Enyeama, the Nigeria Football Federation on Friday warned the national team players to ensure that they abide by the coach’s instructions.

The NFF President Amaju Pinnick was quoted by the federation’s official website as telling the Eagles in Belgium to regard Oliseh as the father of the national team and obey him for the team’s progress.

“A lot has happened in the past couple of days, but the important thing is that the NFF will always be there for the team. A football team is like a family, and the head coach is like the father. I enjoin each and every one of you to work with the coach and abide by his instructions so that we can become better and stronger,” Pinnick said.

“On our part, we will continue to work hard to get friendly matches for you so that the team can bond better and achieve telepathy on the field. Our commitment to taking Nigeria football to heights never previously attained is unshaken.”

Pinnick also urged the team not to dwell on the 2-0 defeat they suffered in the hands of Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday and said he believes in their ability to turn things around and defeat Cameroon on Sunday.

Enyeama, who is Nigeria’s most capped footballer, announced his retirement from the national team on Thursday following a clash with Oliseh, after the gaffer stripped him of the captaincy of the team and handed it to CSKA forward Ahmed Musa.

However, the goalkeeper’s problems started much earlier.

Enyeama reached the 100-cap milestone in March in an international friendly game against Uganda, equalling former captain, Joseph Yobo’s record in the process. He became Nigeria’s most capped player – 101 caps – in June, in the Eagles 2-0 win against Chad in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna.

The 33-year-old’s feat was highly celebrated but in a twist of fate, the Kaduna encounter became the beginning of the end of his international career.

Enyeama stirred up a hornet’s nest when he voiced out against the NFF’s choice of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna as the venue for the game against Chad. He opined that Kaduna, which is in the northern part of Nigeria, was not safe for the match due to the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the region.

The goalkeeper’s comments, which didn’t go down well with the NFF, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and indigenes of the state, sparked a controversy that many thought would have earned him a lengthy ban or expulsion. But somehow he survived, howbeit for a while.

Pinnick had countered Enyeama, saying, “Kaduna State has always been a perfect ground for all national teams, and a city in love with football. We are excited anytime we bring a match of the national team to Kaduna, because we are always sure of massive support for our team.”

The federation followed up with a query issued to Enyeama on the matter. The Lille goalkeeper reportedly tore up the query in front of the federation officials, who delivered it and damned all consequences. The NFF reacted by referring the matter to its disciplinary committee for further investigation.

Enyeama was asked to appear before the NFF Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday, June 23, to clarify his comments. But he failed to appear before the committee claiming that he was never notified officially, that he only heard of it in the media; a claim the NFF countered.

However, after about a month of controversy, the NFF pardoned Enyeama and retained him as captain of the Eagles. Incidentally, the Chairman of the NFF Disciplinary Committee, Christopher Green, announced Enyeama’s pardon at the National Stadium, Abuja, shortly after the unveiling of Oliseh as the new Eagles coach.

While the trouble raged, Oliseh was one of those who stood on Enyeama’s side.

Even before taking up the Eagles job, Oliseh said Enyeama, as captain of the team, had the right to air his opinion regarding the team’s safety.

Oliseh, was also quoted as saying, “Enyeama is not a civil servant, why are you querying him? He’s a professional football player, the captain, and he aired his opinion that I think should be respected.

“Who do we think we are? This is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Who are the members of the committee that want to question him, these men have never played football and neither do they know how football is run.”

Oliseh was also said to have helped to reconcile Enyeama with the NFF officials but that was not the end.

Despite this, the relationship between Oliseh and Enyeama never seemed very cordial from day one. It was rumoured that Enyeama was a loyalist of the former Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, and was not happy with the coach’s removal.

With his retirement, it is on record that Enyeama never played for the Eagles under Oliseh. Though he was invited, he opted out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania and the friendly game against Niger, due to the demise of his mother. Then, he arrived in camp in Belgium late because of his mother’s burial before his fallout with Oliseh ensued.

Apparently, Oliseh had started having faith in Carl Ikeme, who took Enyeama’s place in the goal post, and Ahmed Musa, who stood in as captain in the two games, but on his arrival in the Belgium camp, Enyeama could not come to terms with the sudden change in the team, hence the clash.

Oliseh’s announcement of Musa as a substantive captain of the team, out of the blues, and the drama that followed was the last straw.

While the Belgium drama was on, Enyeama wrote on his Instagram page: “After 13 years of national service, having this smile on my face and this passion in my heart. Through the billows, the waves of the ocean, the tears of defeat, the sound of rejoicing from victory chants. Now the thought of being stripped Unclad and security agents throwing me out breaks me completely. I will take anything but not insult to my dead mother.”

Oliseh explained that he drove all the way to France from Belgium to discuss his plans with Enyeama and he gave him (Oliseh) the impression that he would retire soon, prompting his decision to build the team with a new captain.

In a later interview, Oliseh also denied insulting the memory of Enyeama’s mother and said he had made an arrangement for the team to honour her with a minute silence before the game against Tanzania, but the Tanzanian authorities did not permit it.

On Thursday, while speaking to Brilla FM, Enyeama acknowledged that his travails had started with his comments on Kaduna, and said Pinnick had spoken to him on the telephone and told him to remain in the camp.

However, a few hours later, Enyeama left the camp and announced that he was “no more available for international duties.”

The NFF’s immediate response seemed to have confirmed speculations that some officials of the federation had been seeking a way to ease him out of the team without eliciting criticisms from Nigerians.

Reacting to Enyeama’s retirement, the NFF Assistant Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the federation would not reach out to Enyeama to convince him to rescind his decision to quit the Eagles.

“We heard about his quitting the national team on his Instagram page. If somebody says he is retiring from the national team, what are we going to do? Beg him? We don’t know if he is leaving the national team because of his quarrel with the coach. So, why should we be finding out whether he left because of the rift? The player has gone out of the camp. What do you want us to do? He has left the camp and he did not tell anybody that he was leaving,” Olajire said.

Ex-international, Garba Lawal, told Saturday PUNCH that Oliseh should have handled the matter of selecting a new captain with discretion to avoid the clash.

He said every coach has his distinct philosophy and therefore the right to choose his team and its captain, but “there are situations a coach should handle between him and his player. You can lock yourselves inside a room, hit yourselves and come out with smiles on your faces without anybody knowing what happened.

“It is not a difficult thing to change the captain of your team. Every player knows that a new coach will change things in the team. Oliseh should have called Enyeama alone into a room and told him, ‘Vincent, now I’m in charge. You are retiring soon. I’ll bring in a new captain that will succeed you.

“If I have an issue, I’ll share with you because you are the most experienced player in the team.’ That way, Enyeama would have agreed with him. Addressing him that way in the presence of other players was not right. That was where the problem started.”

Lawal, who was Oliseh’s teammate, added that the quarrel affected the Eagles on Thursday when they faced Democratic Republic of Congo in Belgium, saying the issue had caused a division in the team.

That division manifested in the game when Musa, the new captain, was substituted. He offered the captain’s armband to Mikel Obi, but the Chelsea midfielder declined. Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi intervened. He took the band and handed it to Monaco defender Elderson Echiejile, who wore it for the rest of the match.

That mild drama was evidence that Oliseh needs to unite his team before their next friendly game against Cameroon, which would be played in Brussels on Sunday.

Just like Lawal, another ex-international, Friday Ekpo, said in spite of the events that led to his retirement, Enyeama deserves to be praised for serving the country for 13 years.

“All I can say is congratulations to my brother, Enyeama, for playing for the Super Eagles for 13 years. God was with him. He had no major injury and he was always at his best. I wish him the best as he focuses on his club career. I’ll also advise him to put what has happened behind him,” he said.

Ekpo urged the NFF to conduct a thorough investigation into the fallout between Oliseh and Enyeama and take appropriate steps based on its findings. ... amas-exit/

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 12:29 am
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this na secondary school prefectship?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:46 pm
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All for discipline, but no be by force to play Nigeria. I expect more players to refuse call ups.

Winners do it the right way.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:05 pm 
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Warned ke? What kinda language is this?

"Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud have we become, and how blind."

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