2nd September, 2011
The timely intervention of Super Eaglesâ€™ Chief Coach, Samson Siasia, averted playersâ€™ revolt that may have adversely affected Nigeriaâ€™s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Berea of Madagascar in Antananarivo on Sunday.
A meeting of the full squad called by Siasia yesterday evening in Antananarivo has resolved the disagreement which saw three Super Eagles players failing to join other members of the team in the bus ride to the airport in Abuja.
Vincent Enyeama, John Mikel Obi and Victor Anichebe were unhappy about the travel arrangements, and missed the bus while discussing their concern with assistant coach, Simon Kalika.
The three arrived at the airport within minutes of the team’s arrival, leading to reports that they did not want to travel.
However, at yesterdayâ€™s meeting, the three players told the group that it was their intention not travel and restated their commitment to winning Sunday’s match.
After listening to the players, Siasia assured them that disagreement was over.
â€œI think it was a communication problem. We have to put it behind us and focus on the task at hand, which is to get three points against Madagascar,â€ he said.
Captain Joseph Yobo, who arrived yesterday afternoon, assured the coach that the players were committed to giving their all to the national team without distractions.
Christopher Green, executive committee member of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, who was at the meeting, commended the team for their mature handling of the situation.
â€œI think what this shows is that we are a big, strong and united family. Every family has disagreements but it is how it resolves the disagreements that matters. I am happy we have come here and talked about it and are now putting it behind us.
â€œLike the coach has said, it is time for us to focus on the important task, which is three points against Madagascar.â€
Meanwhile, former Eaglesâ€™ midfielder, Thompson Oliha, has advised Siasia to ensure that all the players that were involved in the case are punished. Oliha said the playersâ€™ action may cause distraction for the team ahead of Sundayâ€™s tie.