21st December, 2012
Lobi Stars player Bassey Ezekiel was turned back from the Super Eagles camp after reporting two days late.
Ezekiel was among 22 domestic league players called up by Stephen Keshi for the first phase of training camp, but the player failed to meet the camp reporting deadline.
After confirming from Lobi Stars that Ezekiel, a first time invitee, had been released in good time, national team officials wielded the big stick.
“We are trying to build a very disciplined squad for the Nations Cup and we are a bit surprised that a home-based player who is making a first appearance will decide to report late when even his mates who have stayed over a year with us still respect arrival dates.
“We can’t condone that and we hope when next he gets an opportunity he will know that time is of the essence,” Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said.
Speaking on upaid wages,Keshi says he is more interested in ensuring the Super Eagles’ success at the Cup of Nations than quibbling over his unpaid wages.
The perennially cash-strapped Nigeria Football Federation, NFF is said to be owing Keshi six months wages, totaling around N30 million (USD187,500), but that has not deterred Keshi from his assignment.
“Not that I don’t need money but the nation takes precedence, money will come at the right time but let’s work first and we will get our dues,” Super Eagles media officer Ben Alaiya quotes Keshi saying.
Alaiya added that Keshi “understands the financial position of the federation and does not have any salary dispute with the Aminu Maigari-led board.
“In fact the board and by extension the sports ministry have been very supportive since I became the national coach about a year ago.”