‘I won’t beg for Eagles Call up’ Tips Cameroun to do well.
There appears to be no end to the lingering face off between former Super Eagles skipper, Sunday Oliseh and soccer authorities when the player bluntly denied coach Adegboye Onigbinde’s claim that he has been in touch with the Borussia Dortmund star.
Oliseh who spoke on a BBC programme Fast Track, stated: « No body has contacted me that I have refused and this is to the best of my knowledge. »
Asked if he had at any time pleaded with Onigbinde to re-consider him for the Eagles’ World Cup squad, the Borrusia Dortmund midfielder retorted that he would not condescend to begging his way back to the team, insisting that his purported exclusion had not followed proper procedure.
Oliseh who in the interview recalled with nostalgia his back-breaking goal against Spain at France ’98 World Cup, glossed over a question that suggested his feeling towards possible re-call to the national team. « It is not for me to decide that now. I think it is left to the coach to decide, » he said.
He maintained that invitation to the camp had gone beyond the seasoned coach, stressing, « obviously there are some people somewhere up there dictating who gets called up to the team and I think that does not really bother me. »
Oliseh also recalled the dismal outing of Eagles at the last Nations Cup in Mali but said even as the players had been villified by the Nigerian fans, there was still the truth that could not be wished away. « I will continue to say the truth, regardless of whether my other colleagues accept my submission. The authorities were clearly unfair to us, despite our collective resolve to do the nation proud at the competition. I wish the Eagles well at the World Cup but I also want the authorities to accept the fact the World Cup is for men, and not boys. »
On whether he would ignore the ugly past and forge ahead if given another chance, Oliseh stated: « Why not? I have served the country before, and I will always be ready to serve again. » Asked, however, if he could re-enact the form that saw him excel at the USA ’94 World Cup and a few subsequent outings, the fair-skinned player said: « The fire in our team was higher at the time. Nevertheless the success of that time can still be repeated because as a nation Nigeria loves challenges, especially as we know that Africans are always behind us. »
Interestingly, however, Oliseh rated Indomitable Lions of Cameroun to advance beyond the quarter-finals at Korea/Japan, hinging his opinion on what he called the team’s compactness. « For the Camerounians at this time it is total football, devoid of unnecessary squabbles with the country’s officials and every player there is looking forward to a great outing, so I see them putting up excellent representation for Africa, » he concluded.
by Afolabi Gambari