…As 22 players battle for shirts against Venezuela
Super Eagles’ boss, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has made further clarifications on reports in the media, quoting him as saying that West Brom’s striker, Peter Osaze Odemwengie, has said he would not play again for the national team. Keshi said yesterday at the Bolton White Apartment camp of the national team that his thoughts may have been misinterpreted, as the light-skinned striker merely told him, he was frustrated at the manner he had been treated in the past and was afraid of a repeat, which he assured him would not arise.
“What he told me was that after fighting so hard to qualify Nigeria for the South Africa 2010 World Cup, he was dumped on the bench when the tournament proper started and that he fears a repeat, following the manner he was substituted in the qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali, which was under me.
Well, I told him that if I had my way, all the players who featured in that match would have been substituted, but I had only three substitutions to make because we played poorly in the encounter. He told me he understood my position and that he was now ready to return to the national team fold. We actually spoke for more than one hour on Sunday (November 4), so there is actually nothing amiss about Osaze.
He has said he would join others to come and fight for a shirt and that is the new rule in the national team,” Keshi said. Earlier on Sunday, team psychologist, Dr Robinson Okosun, has spent several minutes talking to Osaze on the news making the rounds and the former Bendel Insurance of Benin star said he remains one of the pillars of the national teams, who still has, at least, five years of active football to play and could not at this point abandon the Super Eagles.
“I want to win something with the national team and I think there can’t be a better time to achieve that than now”, he declared. Similarly, 22 players out of the 24 invited to camp sweated it out yesterday evening as the national team resumed preparation for the match against Venezuela in the United States on November 14. Only Rangers International’s Ejike Uzoenyi and Kano Pillars’ Gambo Mohammed, who was part of the team