After a dismal performance at the 2016 African Nations Championship where the Home Based Super Eagles crashed out in the group stage of the competition, despite winning their first game 4 – 1 against the Menas of Niger, Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh seems to be under-fire. Specifically after accusing the Nigerian Football Federation of failing to fulfill their cash promise.
According to reports, the members of the NFF are unhappy with the statement made by the former Juventus and Borussia Dortmund midfielder, whom they feel should have followed the due process in making his opinion known rather than addressing the press.
The players complained bitterly of not receiving the $10,000 that had been promised to them by the Minister of Sports; Solomon Dalung and the negligence of the NFF to take full responsibility of their duties.
Besides, the outburst has led the NFF to look into hiring a foreign coach that will tinker the senior national team in a bid to curtail the drama on the team.
The likes of Heverd Renard, who led Ivory Coast to win the AFCON last year, has long been linked with coaching Nigeria since AFCON 2010 in Angola. He is presently without a job after he was sacked by French League Club, Lille FC.
Also, Claude Le Roy only recently quit as Congo coach. He has also worked in DR Congo, Cameroon and Senegal. He has also variously been linked with the Nigerian post over the years.
According to BBC sports, Oliseh defends his record, and points out he has lost just two of his 14 games in charge of Nigeria. Oliseh later apologized to the NFF, for what some are deeming his “YouTube rant”.
Oliseh, has proceeded to apologize on his social media accounts to the Nigerian public as well writing on Twitter, on Tuesday: “How dare I insult 170 million people who I love and have shown me so much love. Please forgive the error of editing! God bless you all. He also wrote…Please when I spoke of critics I did not mean the general public of Nigeria! I would never dare refer to my beloved country men as Insane!
However, Premium Times Nigeria revealed, Wednesday, that the Super Eagles Coach, despite his public apology, will face disciplinary measures, including the possibility of a heavy fine in the sum of $30,000.
Despite claims of facing a sack, Oliseh has reiterated that he won’t throw in the towel.
“I am not quitting,” Oliseh said.
“A lot of things have to change and these are what will be ironed out before another competition starts. The money crisis was a huge one. The players were doing well at the start but their attitude and form dipped when it became very evident that they would not get their cash until after the tournament” he said.
“But if the NFF didn’t have the cash, they could have supported the team in many other ways. They were left alone in a very small two-star hotel in Rwanda. Most of the times the players could not eat what was served by the hotel and Oliseh had to supplement with cash to enable the players eat outside. The coach also assisted many who could not really get quality boosts and this was a drain to his pocket” a government source reveals.
“In the Abuja camp, there was little or no visits from the NFF. When you owe players, you should stay close enough to make them believe that they will truly get their money later,” he concluded.
With the double-header match against the Pharaohs of Egypt in March for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, this may be a distraction that may hinder Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the bi-annual tournament in Gabon.
The three-time Nations Cup Champions sit second with four points, while Egypt sit top of the group with six points, knowing fully that only the group winners qualify automatically for the tournament.
The move by the football house to checkmate the activities of the Super Eagles coach could be seen as a form of interference in the team’s affairs.
Oliseh has been informed to submit the list of players he intends to call up for the match against the Pharaohs to the technical committee for vetting and approval before putting it in the public domain.
“The era when Oliseh was given the latitude to do whatever he likes is gone. We are going to monitor whatever he is doing ahead of the match against Egypt. We can’t afford to toy with that game. He (Oliseh) has been told to forward his list to the NFF technical committee for vetting and approval. We are going to supervise him closely to ensure we get the result we need,” another government source said.
“Oliseh rather than take responsibility for the Eagles CHAN flop is blaming the government and the NFF for the team’s failure. This was a coach that got all the needed support ahead of the championship including going to camp for two weeks at the Pretoria High Performance center and playing quality friendlies. It is sad that the same coach is blaming the NFF over the failure of the team” the source continued.
Technical committee chairman of the NFF; Chris Green has insisted that Oliseh acted unprofessionally, when he decided to criticize the NFF over the Super Eagles failed mission at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda.
“I don’t think it is very fair to the NFF that Oliseh would say the team was not motivated” Green said.
“He was given all the support. His programs to camp in Nigeria and Pretoria in South Africa were approved and executed. In South Africa, he had good matches to play, which he played. These were part of the preparations for the CHAN tournament” Green added.
The rancor between the NFF and Oliseh may not be a welcome development considering the fact that both parties should have treated the whole affair with a calm mind, thereby understanding their strengths and weaknesses and knowing how to mend their loopholes.
It will be paramount for the football house not to make drastic decisions that could hamper or cause greater damages to the team’s progress and their quest of building a formidable team ahead of future competitions.