Oliseh used the players against the federation to get what he wanted – Onazi

Oliseh used the players against the federation to get what he wantedOliseh used the players against the federation to get what he wanted - Onazi
Super Eagles midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, says former coach of the national team, Sunday Oliseh, did not genuinely fight for the interest of players during his seven-month reign. Oliseh was constantly in the news for his clashes with the Nigeria Football Federation over his players and his backroom staff’s entitlements. But Onazi said the coach put his own interests before players’.

“It was a case of pretending to fight for others whereas you were actually fighting for yourself. Oliseh needed something but he used the players against the federation to get what he wanted,” Onazi said.

The Lazio man added that the former Ajax midfielder did not consult the players before appointing CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa as captain of the national team. Oliseh had stripped Vincent Enyeama of the captain’s armband after a bust-up with the Lille goalkeeper in Belgium last year and handed it to Musa. But Oliseh’s decision to make the Russia-based player the leader of the team came as a surprise to Onazi and the players.


“He (Oliseh) just told us (players), ‘I’m changing my captain.’ I didn’t even know,” Onazi stated.

He lamented the declining fortunes of the Eagles, saying the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions would bounce back stronger. Onazi added

“We (players) are ashamed of ourselves with what has been happening to the national team. We want to keep winning and make Nigerians proud. The NFF president (Amaju Pinnick) has been very supportive to the team; he’s done so much for us, so it’s painful we are not doing well.”

Nigeria on Tuesday crashed out of the race to qualify for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations following their 1-0 defeat by Egypt. When a Punch correspondent sent Oliseh a text message for his reaction on the issue, he replied, “Have a nice day.”

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