Aderonke
Ogunleye

 
West
Bromwich Albion striker, Osaze Odemwingie, a onetime sweet heart of Nigerian
football, was excluded from the Super Eagles team for the African Cup of
Nations, AFCON 2013, because of two demands he asked from team handlers,
PREMIUM TIMES can reveal.

The
former Nigerian player of the year tried to have his cake and eat it when he
suggested to the Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, that he (Odemwingie) shuttle
between South Africa and England during the tournament, a top official of the
Nigerian Football Federation told PREMIUM TIMES.
While
the AFCON is taking place in South Africa, the source said Osaze wanted to be
able to play for both his club and country during the period of the tournament
by travelling from one place to the other depending on the schedule.
The
official, who preferred anonymity so as not to be dragged into a war of words
with Osaze and the technical crew, said that Osaze was initially on Coach
Keshi’s list for the competition.
He
said Osaze gave Keshi two conditions for playing for Nigeria during the AFCON
tournament.
“The
player said his wife is due for delivery on January 9, and would love to be
with her when she gives birth,” the source said.
While
the AFCON will take place in South Africa between January 19 and February 10,
all invited players are expected to have resumed camp by the first week of
January.
The
second reason was the player’s insistence that he wanted to shuttle between
South Africa and England because he has club commitments, the source said.
Osaze
is a vital player for his club who has an ambition to qualify for Europe in the
English Premier League.
The
official said Keshi refused and instead decided to omit Odemwingie from AFCON
2013.
Keshi
said he wants full control of the players during the AFCON games, the official
said.
Like
Osaze like Keshi
Osaze’s
suggestion to shuttle between London and South Africa is however not new to
Nigerian football.
The
player was probably just trying to emulate his coach, Keshi.
PREMIUM
TIMES learnt that during the AFCON in Morocco in 1988; under the leadership of
Paul Hamilton, Keshi played only two of five games for Nigeria.
Keshi,
one of the very few Nigerian players plying their trade in Europe then,
shuttled between his Belgian club and Morocco during the competition due to his
club commitments.
An
angry Osaze, perhaps feeling angry the coach would not allow him enjoy what
Keshi, as a player, enjoyed, took to twitter to react to his exclusion from the
Eagles for AFCON 2013.
In
several tweets on Sunday, Osaze expressed surprise at his exclusion and blasted
both Keshi and the NFF
“Keshi
has no footballing reasons not to invite me but is not saying the truth. He is
still in my plans he said haha coach u no dey my plans,” Odemwingie said in one
of his now famous tweets.
Efforts
to get Keshi to react to this new information were unsuccessful as his phone
was switched off. The gaffer had, however, said earlier that Osaze was simply
not in his plans for the competition; and, like other dropped players, would
not be missed.
Other
senior officials of the NFF also appealed not to be quoted as they would not
want to be dragged into the war of words between Osaze and the football
federation.
Culled from www.premiumtimesng.com

3 COMMENTS

  1. You shall know the truth and it shall make you free. Osaze, for me, is not the bad boy image people has seen him as. Most people has suffered such bad names because they could not or were not given the chance to defend themselves. We are in a world where gossip reigns, people don't crosscheck before they conclude. It is painful. But the truth always shine like the sun and cannot be hidden for so long. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Thanks for this information.

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