Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh has said Vincent Enyeama’s retirement from the national team is very sad, as he finally opened up on the incidents that have shaken the Super Eagles since Tuesday.
Enyeama, the country’s most capped player, announced his retirement via Instagram on Thursday after alleging insults to his mother as well as being thrown out of the national camp by hotel security in Verviers, Belgium.
However, coach Oliseh has debunked the claims, stating that he was surprised by the goalkeeper’s allegations on social media, something that has turned many fans against him as the team lost 2-0 to Congo DR in a friendly on Thursday night.
In an interview on Brila FM, Oliseh stated that the goalkeeper had insisted on airing his views during dinner after Tuesday’s training, despite the coach’s instruction to stand down and allow his observations be discussed at another time.
The goalkeeper was unhappy with the fact that he was overlooked as captain of the side in favour of Ahmed Musa during a routine meet and greet with the Nigerian ambassador to Belgium after their work out.
The coach said he told Enyeama to either remain quiet or excuse himself from dinner to enable him address the other players. Oliseh stated that a few of the senior players attempted to calm the goalkeeper before leading him away from the room.
He said he didn’t call security to take him out and was surprised to find out that Enyeama claimed on Instagram that he was thrown out by security and that his mother had been insulted.
“How can I insult your mother? Never did the issue of Vincent Enyeama’s mother come up”, said Oliseh, while stating that Musa and John Obi Mikel came to his room to apologize on behalf of the goalkeeper and he had forgiven the Lille player.
The coach said that Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick mediated in the crisis and asked Enyeama to apologise to the coach but he didn’t.
Enyeama decided to leave camp on Thursday following the invitation of young goalkeeper Dele Alampasu as back up for the two goalkeepers in case of any injuries. Oliseh said there was joke about preparing goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu as backup in case the need arose.
“He said because I invited Alampasu, he’s going,” Oliseh said.
Enyeama then announced his retirement from the team after 13 years in a very emotional post on Instagram, stating that “it’s been the most trying period of my life”.
“It’s very sad,” Oliseh said about the goalkeeper’s retirement while hoping that the team gets back on its feet soon enough for Sunday’s friendly against Cameroon.
Despite the 2-0 defeat to Congo, Oliseh took positives from the performances of Mikel and debutant Alex Iwobi, while stating that the reason for the friendly matches is so that the team can have better understanding ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.