Super Eagles head coach, Sunday Ogochuckwu Oliseh, has reacted to first choice goalie and Lille OSC of France’s Vincent Enyeama’s late withdrawal from this weekend’s crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in Dar es Salaam,stating that it has put him in a “tight corner”.
Speaking at the media parley with sports writers yesterday in Abuja, the former Eagles midfield marshal said, already he has a huge task ahead of him and had no need for the extra challenge which Enyeama’s absence will bring.
“Vincent asked to withdraw from the match for reasons I am yet to know. Maybe, you [the press] should ask him. His withdrawal has put us in a very tight situation, because I must confess that the task ahead of us is a very difficult one and I didn’t need this extra burden. “We’re practically starting this team from the scratch [and though] it’s not very pleasant, it is part of life,” he said.
Enyeama had been embroiled in a battle with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after June’s qualifier against Chad, when he criticised the choice of Kaduna for the game, despite the security challenges in the region.
A top official of the NFF, who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, insisted that the excuses put forward by Lille of France keeper should not be strong enough to make him absent himself from the crucial game.
“The fact is that those excuses are not reasonable enough to stop him from coming to represent his country. This is totally unpatriotic and unacceptable,” the source said.
“Even if Enyeama is absent, we trust the coach to deal with that situation and plug whatever hole has been created. The NFF has not said anything to anyone and anything anyone has said anywhere is not the position of the NFF,” Olajire said, point-blank.