8th October, 2015
Mixed reactions have trailed the resignation of Nigeria’s long serving captain of the Super Eagles, Vincent Enyeama.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Enyeama announced his decision to quit the national team after an altercation with Coach Sunday Oliseh at the team’s camp in Belgium on Wednesday.
Consequetly, the coach stripped him of his captaincy and appointed striker Ahmed Musa to replace him.
Joe Erico, an ex-international and former assistant coach of the Super Eagles, expressed shock on the premature manner Enyeama’s threw in the towel when the nation still needed his service.
“Enyeama should understand that he is serving the country and not his coach, Sunday Oliseh.
“So whatsoever might have happened between him and Oliseh should not have forced his resignation in this premature manner.
“It is indeed not to the best interest of the nation in which Enyeama had served for many years,’’ Erico said.
Christian Chukwu, a former coach of the Super Eagles, decried the manner in which Enyeama was replaced as captain, saying it “was embarrassing and insulting of him’’.
Chukwu, who was also a captain of Nigeria’s national team, said that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should have allowed Enyeama to finish the two friendly matches before replacing him.
Adokiye Amiesamaka, also a former Eagles player, said that Enyeama had served the country meritoriously for many years, and that the nation owed him a befitting farewell.
“I do not know the true fact and don’t want to dabble into that, so if he believes it is the right time to leave, then we must wish him well,’’ Amiesamaka said.
Henry Nwosu, another national team player, said that it was a good decision on the part of Enyeama to resign in view of the development between him and Oliseh.
“It is a very good decision, I am fully in support of his decision to resign given the development with Oliseh.
“He was treated unfairly and if he should continue with the team he could be used as a scapegoat in a situation where he makes a mistake in action for the country.
“Enyeama would always be remembered for his level headed character, and while on duty he always gave his best over the years when he wore the national colours,’’ Nwosu said.
Erstwhile coach, Paul Hamilton said that it was unfortunate that after 13 years of service, the former captain decided to opt out in the manner he did.
According to him, the disagreement should not have ended in this fashion.
“Sincerely I was hoping all things in camp will be restored, but it is quite unfortunate the end result that came out from the situation in Belgium.
“I wish him the best in life,’’ he added.
Tayo Balogun, a sports analyst said that Enyeama should not have left in such a manner, even though he was close to retirement.
He said that the usual altercations in camp should not have pushed him to take such hasty decision.
The pundit also faulted the coach for been hasty in his decisions.
“Sincerely it is a sad development, and a possible solution is to have a template on how everyone should behave in camp towards one another,’’ Balogun said.
Enyeama’s individual honours include CAF Champions League Player of the Year 2004, Footballer of the Year in Israel 2009, UNFP Player of the Month October 2013.
Others are UNFP Player of the Month November 2013, Marc Vivien Foe Award winner 2014 and King of The Pitch Award 2014.