Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh on Wednesday explained why he opted for a new captain for the team – a decision that ignited a serious quarrel between the coach and his goalkeeper on Tuesday in Belgium where the Nigerian team are camping.
He said, “A lot is built around the captain and the way he carries on with the job means a lot to the team. A captain (Vincent Enyeama) who has said many times that he was retiring. From the onset he told me that and he has continued to say that. Now we are rebuilding a team to last over a long period of time.
“In his absence Musa stepped in and he did the job perfectly. Vincent has done his bit and I felt we could start a transition period but instead he tried to make it his right to remain as the captain. But it is not his prerogative to decide who leads the team. It does not happen anywhere.”
The coach said that everything said in the course of argument was basically on the team and football. He said he was alarmed when other stories were added to it.
“It was simply an attempt to whip up emotions that created other matters; issues were introduced unfairly into the matter,” he said.
Enyeama, who also spoke with our correspondent, maintains that he holds no grudges after another player was named captain of the national team, but insists that Oliseh should have explained the reasons behind the decision.
The Eagles gaffer on Tuesday stripped Enyeama and named CSKA Moscow forward, Musa, who led the team in the absence of Enyeama against Tanzania and Niger, as new captain of the Eagles.
The Lille keeper arrived in camp on Tuesday – after the burial of his mother – a day after the Monday deadline to report to camp.
But he was stunned when Oliseh in the presence of other players and officials, named his new captain.
Oliseh allegedly told the keeper to shut up, when the argument got quite hot. Enyeama didn’t comply, prompting Oliseh to order the hotel’s security personnel to kick the ex-Enyimba man out of the venue.
It took the intervention of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi and Nigeria Football Federation officials to restore peace at the meeting.
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Enyeama, who took over the captain’s armband after Joseph Yobo’s retirement, confirmed that the issue had been resolved, adding that he was not against Oliseh naming somebody else as captain of the squad.
He said, ”Everything is okay now, there are no problems. I’m not against anybody being captain of the team but I deserve an explanation.
“Even in your house, when your father suddenly says, ‘go and sleep,’ you will want to know why the sudden decision was taken. I always want to give my best to my country but in situations like these, I deserve an explanation. I don’t want to say much because I will talk at the appropriate time.”
Enyeama made his Nigeria debut against England at the 2002 World Cup and he became the country’s most capped player with 101 games, when the Eagles played Chad in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna in June. (The Punch)