Posted by News Express | 24 December 2012 | 3,615 times
Coach Stephen Keshi’s decision to leave out senior team members Osaze Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins and Taye Taiwo from the Super Eagles squad to the 29th Africa Cup of Nations has received the backing of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“Actually the duty of the NFA board is to regulate, we don’t impose players on the coaches,” said NFF Chairman, Aminu Maigari, stressing the decision of the present board of the federation not to meddle with Super Eagles affairs.
Continuing, Maigari, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said: “But I was able to attend part of the last segment of the technical committee meeting with the coaches themselves.
“At the meeting, I asked why Osaze was not invited and the committee said it had also asked similar question, but the coach gave his reasons and they were convinced.
“I was satisfied too, because I feel it is not my right to come and say the coach must bring back a particular player.”
Defending his choice of 32 players for the final phase of camping in Faro, Portugal, for the competition, scheduled for Jan. 19 – Feb. 10, Keshi said: “We don’t need Osaze right now; that is all. He is not a bad player and there is nothing personal about it. It is just that at this point in time, there are some players that were not called and we don’t have anything against them.
“We also did not invite Obafemi Martins, why are Nigerians not talking about him? These players are not the only Nigerians playing; this is what we want for now. All we want for now from Nigerians is to support the players that are there in prayers.”
On Martins, Keshi said he was left out because he did not live up to expectation when he was given the opportunity to prove his worth in the new Eagles squad.
Keshi pointed out that he was more comfortable dealing with the players he was familiar with. His words: “Martins is a good player and has done so well for this country. However, I have some other players I have used before and I think I have confidence in them, not that I don’t have confidence in Martins, but his time will come. He is still a young man and is still playing.”
As News Express, reported yesterday, while Martins and Taiwo have taken the decision in good fate, Osaze chose to be unsportsmanlike, betraying his frustration in tweets that have further compounded his image problems.
•Photo: NFF Chairman, Aminu Maigari.
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