Ekpo Is A Sad Man


Friday Ekpo was a member of Super Eagles under the leadership of Clement Westerhorf.He played 1989 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers before Indomitable Lion of Cameroon stopped them from qualifying for the first ever FIFA World Cup in Italy.He spoke about his football career and other issue with SUNDAY AKINTOYE


What are your assessments on the just concluded BRF Lagos Veterans Soccer Fiesta?

To be frank with you, it was a successful soccer fiesta because most of the Ex internationals gathered and played together again. This is the first time All stars virtually in Lagos and others played together in this year. I want to commend the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola who is also part of All Stars Family for sponsoring this programme which brings yesteryears together.


Most of the football lovers who watched you at the Soccer Fiesta said you are physically fit and play good football like your playing days, what is the secret?

(Laughs) The secret is that I do train every weekend. As a footballer, one needs to train if he wants to fit always.


What are the differences between Super Eagles under the leadership of Samson Siasia during your days when you were playing for Eagles under the Clement Westerhorf?

Eagles are the same but the only things that change is players. During the Westerhorf time,we players played from the wing but today, football has changed so I think we need to move with the trend of the game if we want to really get it right.


You were a member of Super Eagles that played FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 1989.One match that Nigerians will never forget was our defeat against Cameroon in Yaoundé, tell us what went wrong?

It was a dark day for Nigerians all over the World because we just needed a draw to make our first ever first World Cup but unfortunately we lose 0-1 to Cameroon in Yaoundé. What really happen was that we lost concentration in the encounter which paved way for Cameroon to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.


Why did you say the team lost concentration in Yaoundé?

Don’t forget that we just needed a draw in Yaoundé after we defeated Cameroon 1-0 in Ibadan.Unfortunately for us, our best keeper; David Ngodiga suffered injury in the encounter and could not continue the match again. The injury Ngodiga suffered in the match killed our morale and effort to get equalizer was abortive throughout the duration.


Did you regret for not playing in the FIFA World Cup in 1990.

Of course yes. I was sad for not playing in the FIFA World Cub before I retired from football. Nigerians could not believe that we will not make it to the World Cup because we players then were committed to play and qualify for first ever World Cup.


Could you tell our readers your happiest moment in your football career?

I always happy when I played for Eagles then. Don’t forget that during our own time, the players fought for shirt. All the players then were ready to play for their fatherland so anytime I played for Eagles then, I always happy.


People said you and Westerhorf always quarrel in the camp during your football days in Eagles, how true it is?

There is no iota of truth in information. I had a cordial relationship with Westerhorf during my playing days in Eagles. Let me say up till now, we still contact to discuss issues. I am so surprised that people still saying that Ekpo and Westerhorf are not in good term.


So, what are you doing presently?

I am doing nothing presently. I am in Lagos with my family. I do play with All Stars every weekend. I am looking for a job.


Do you like a coaching job?

Of course yes. If I see any professional club now, I am ready for them.


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