Posted by News Express | 30 December 2012 | 3,951 times
Out of favour Super Eagles forward, Osaze Odemwingie, today accused coach Stephen Keshi of betrayal even as he expressed regrets over his twitter rant in the way of his exclusion from the South Africa 2013 team.
The West Brom goal poacher said in an interview with MTN Football: “I called the coach two or three times within that period, maybe two or three days before the list was made public and told him of my commitment to be part of the Nations Cup, and have told my (club) coach I will be going to the Nations Cup.
“I told the coach I was ready to report to camp by January 3, even before other professionals start reporting to camp, if I were in his programme for the Nations Cup, and even told him to feel free to drop me, if I were not in his programme.
“I felt betrayed after that seeming heart-to-heart discussions with the coach few days to the release of the team list and he could not hint me I was not in his plan for the Nations Cup.
“For me, it was not professional and I considered it a betrayal and lost my cool given all the arrangements I had made towards the Nations Cup.”
Odemwingie also revealed that he felt pained and miffed by “some comments on why I was dropped ranging from being arrogant to asking for the captain’s band, and I concluded the federation wanted to freeze me out of the national team after 10 years of serving the country with commitment and dedication.”
“I don’t mind being asked to give the younger ones a chance, even though I still have five years to offer at the international level, but I only think it would be proper to be honourably pulled out of the national team and not ‘disgraced’ out of the team after years of dedicated service to Nigeria,” he argued.
The WBA star argued that though his international career is over in the light of these controversies, which he noted “were unfortunate and regrettable,” he said he still believes “there is need to correct some wrong impressions out there that I am always fighting with every coach, but what people don’t know is that my issues with all the coaches from Samson Siasia to Lars Lagerback and now Keshi had to do with purely football matters, not administrative or asking for more money for players.”
Hear him: “My case with coach Siasia dates back to the 2008 Olympics and had to do with insufficient jerseys and all that. With Lagerback it had to do with how I was treated and I voiced it to him personally at the World Cup, and now being treated unfairly.
“Imagine talking with someone two, three times over an issue and few days later you begin to hear a different story from the person, who was in a position to tell you point blank, ‘you are not in my plan for this’.”
Odemwingie (seen in photo) added: “I am human and open to errors by the way I may have taken the issue, and regret the whole controversy, and want to put all this behind me now and focus on my club career, while wishing the team the best of luck as a Nigerian.”
Odemwingie, meanwhile, regretted his unprovoked attack on the chairman of the NFF technical Committee, Chris Green, in his twitter rant.
He said his mistakes were made in a fit of anger after he had made it known to his coach and colleagues that he was set to travel for the Nations Cup in South Africa. He described Green as a good man and one of the few on the NFF board alongside the president, Aminu Maigari, who he knows personally, and would not want to offend, though his anger has portrayed him to be at “war with everybody.”
“I remember it was Green who settled my case with Siasia then, but I was too angry when he called me over this matter, and was impatient to listen to him,” he now said.
“My comment was not directed at him personally, but to those who made the decision, but I think I over reacted then.”
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