The squad that represented Nigeria at the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil has been under heavy scrutiny from the media and Nigerians in the last couple of days, after bribery allegations were brought against the the final squad list, headed by late Stephen Keshi.
When the squad was announced for the tournament, the inclusion of the likes of Uche Nwofor, Michael Uchebo, Sola Ameobi raised some serious questions, but everything changed after the team managed to reach the knock out stage of the tournament.
However the selection of the team, became another topic in the media, after Amokachi who was the assistant to Keshi said they went to the tournament with some players he does not even know.
He claimed Brown Ideye who was dropped, should have made the team and admitted that maybe some people in higher authority highjacked the team.
He said : “Some players had no business going to the 2014 World Cup, One player who should have been part of the team is Brown Ideye unfortunately he was dropped for some players who shouldn’t have gone to the World Cup but truth is I wasn’t the coach, I was not in charge of picking the players.”
Amokachi’s claims showed he’s not ready to provide any answer to why Ideye was left out of the team, but only pointed to Keshi who died six years ago.
Few days later former forward Chinedu Obasi added salt to the injury, when he said in a social media chat that he missed out of Keshi’s team to the tournament after he refused to pay bribe demanded from him by some officials.
”I was playing for Schalke, I was playing in the Champions League and I was doing well. Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team.”
“I felt like I’ve paid my dues for the country, I shouldn’t do this. If I was a young player, maybe I would have done that, but it was a bit personal for me and I felt very heartbroken.” Osabi said.
Obasi’s allegation on Keshi led technical crew also ushered in another allegation and revelations from Emmanuel Sarki and Taye Taiwo respectively, while Sarki claimed some people contacted his club to demand for $10,000 to be included in the party, Taiwo reportedly revealed that he decided to leave the national team immediately after the appointment of the late Stephen Keshi because he believed the environment was too toxic.
“When they appointed Stephen Keshi as coach, he was acting someone in which I told my self that it was time for me to leave the Super Eagles. ”I packed my bags and I told my wife and family that I cannot be involved in dirty deals” Taye Taiwo reportedly said.
Although Amokachi has questioned the reasons and the timing of the allegations level against Keshi’s led technical crew , but his previous statement on Brown Ideye’s exclusion has already indicted his former teammates and left his legacy hanging on a thread.
In conclusion, the Sports Minister said the cases will be investigated, until then, the statement made by the players and Amokachi has put Keshi’s legacy in total questioning, despite winning the African cup of Nations in 2013 for the country as a player and a coach.