I’m not ‘bothered’ by Odemwingie’s outburst – Keshi

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Nigeria’s Coach, Stephen Keshi, says there is “nothing personal” about his decision to leave out Peter Odemwingie from his Africa Cup of Nations squad. The West Brom’s striker reacted angrily to being omitted from the provisional 32-man squad announced on Saturday.

Odemwingie last played for the Super Eagles in February’s goalless draw with Rwanda in a Cup of Nations qualifier. In an angry outburst on Twitter, the 31-year-old claimed he was dropped because he often speaks his mind. But Keshi said that he was not bothered by Odemwingie’s reaction.

“I don’t even have a Facebook or Twitter account, so it doesn’t bother me at all,” said the Nigerian former international. “Nigeria is blessed with many good players and we cannot invite every player. “There’s nothing personal about this stuff. Odemwingie is a very good player, but right now, I don’t need him. “He’s a professional and he should be able to accept that. “Nigeria is blessed with many good players and we cannot invite every player.

“We’re not in a war with anybody, we’re just trying to do our job.” Odemwingie, who played at the 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Nations Cups, had accused Keshi of disrespect by not informing him personally of his decision. “Every manager has got his own plans and tactics – if I don’t figure in your plans, please be honest to tell me directly.

“For 10 years, I gave my all to the country as a player on the pitch, played for the nation and fans, not individuals. Odemwingie, who was born in Uzbekistan where his Nigerian father was based, said that he was a marked man in Keshi and the federation’s eyes because he was too blunt in what he said about the state of Nigerian football.

“Because I speak up when things are not right, I guess some people are not just comfortable with that openness. But he added that he will not completely shut the door on his international career. “If the chance to play for my country presents itself, then I will speak to my dad and those close to me – then we’ll see. The Super Eagles begin their Cup of Nations campaign against Burkina Faso on 21 January and before facing Zambia and Ethiopia in Group C.

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8 Comments

    • Poor Boy. His ourburst really shows his desperation. For Christ’s sakes, Keshi is the coach and the buck rests on him. Am sure he wants to win the world cup for Nigeria and he knows what is best for him and the players that will most suit his plans. Odemwingie, you are a good player but am sure the Coach has seen a better player to use for this Nation’s cup. Am sure your Daddy will understand, try and explain to him. He may not understand, unless he is also a footballer. Daddy’s Boy!

  1. Osemwengie A Julius on

    Pls Osaze peter Osemwengie i know for sure keshi had took wrong decision because he want nigerian to be defeated in that African cup of nation because our opponent had payed him watch out and see this is nigeria politics

  2. Nigerian Journalists, when will you stop posting Nigerian Coaches pictures in another country`s colour? Poor journalism

  3. RICHARD OKWARA on

    Keshi simply refused a bad influence in his team, this unfortunately is what osaze represents in our national team.

    An old player, does not guarantee a place in a team, you need not only be a good and regular player but a discipline one and a team player. Osaze quarrels with all the coaches he has played under in our national team.

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