The
news hit Nigeria in trickles via social media late on Tuesday night that
captain of the Super Eagles, Vincent Enyeama had been kicked out of the camp of
the team in Belgium.
While
Nigerians on social media were still trying to digest that piece of
information, another came in, this time from the Nigeria Football Federation,
PR team that all had been resolved and Enyeama had been persuaded to return to
the team.
Question
being asked is- What happened in Belgium? Why would Nigeria’s coach, Sunday
Oliseh kick out his captain and why would the Federation return him to the
team?
1st school
of thought
Enyeama
was late to camp by one day, apparently because he held the funeral service of
his mother three days back.
NFF
president, Amaju Pinnick was present at Enyeama’s hometown, Uyo and verbally
allowed the goalkeeper an extra day off.
However,
the may not have been communicated to the coaches of the team.
Enyeama
reports in camp on time (but one day late in the eyes of the rest of the team)
and tries to explain to the coach who shouts him down and tells him to leave
the camp.
Enyeama
refuses to leave the camp since he was not given a chance to explain why he
arrived on Tuesday and coach of the side, Sunday Oliseh orders hotel security
to throw the captain out, which they did.
Word
gets to the NFF, they put a call through and ask Enyeama to return to camp
which he refused to but after some cajoling, he did return
2nd school
of thought
The
second narrative goes that on arrival in the camp of the team on Tuesday,
Sunday Oliseh told the goalkeeper that he would no longer be captain of the
side since he had picked Ahmed Musa.
After
dinner with the group, Enyeama indicated he wanted to speak and the coach
denied him the opportunity.
When
Enyeama insisted he must say something to the group, Oliseh shouted him down right
there in front of the team and said the decision had been made and he must
respect the team.
It
resulted in a shouting match and the coach said, “If you don’t like my decision
you can leave or I get hotel security to walk you out.”
In
fact if not for John Mikel Obi, it could have resulted in fisticuffs.
Official position
Media
Officer of the team, Toyin Ibitoye told a live radio sports show in Port
Harcourt on Tuesday morning that there was no fracas in camp, just a
misunderstanding between two people that had been sorted out.
“It
was not a fracas, but an exchange of words which has since been resolved,”
Ibitoye said.
“Such
happens in football. It has been resolved and the team will train today
(Wednesday) ahead of the game tomorrow (Thursday).
“The
players, team administrator and all others who were around have appealed to all
parties involved and it has been resolved.”
Ibitoye
also spoke on the captainship issue in the team.
“It’s
the prerogative of the coach to pick his captain. Players are invited to the
Super Eagles to play for the team and not to captain the team,” Ibitoye said.
Meanwhile,
Dele Alampasu who was with the U17 team in 2013 and U20 team in 2015 has been
called up to the Super Eagles.
Thoughts to ponder
What
bothers this writer is why we continue to do damage to ourselves.
Did
Vincent Enyeama bury his mother on Saturday and hold a thanks giving service on
Sunday?
We
are Nigerians and we know how big burial ceremonies are especially when you are
well to do like Vincent is. Did he deserve that kind of treatment from the
coach?
Those
were friendly games and he didn’t have to turn up for them considering what he
is coming out of but he did, anyway so it showed he had some respect for the
team.
If
the issue was lateness to camp, then one question would be- Did the NFF
President convey the message to the team secretary and coach that the player
was given a compassionate leave of one extra day?
Was
Enyeama emotionally unstable so soon after the loss of his mum and her burial
causing his outburst when the coach spoke with him?
Should
he be pardoned for his outburst?
But
could this incident, whatever it was have been handled with more caution? And if
the coach was to make changes, was this the best time to do so?
Should
Vincent Enyeama have actually shut up when told to do so by the coach?
Did
hotel security bundle the captain out? Did the coach actually say he was going
to get security to bundle the captain out?
Lots
of questions but few answers but this is no way to run a national team. It is
also not the best way to sack a captain.
I
guess only the players in camp, the team staff and hotel restaurant staff will
know the true story.

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