Super Eagles defender Elderson Echiejile has challenged his former teammates alleging they were asked to pay for spots in the senior national team to mention names of people who demanded bribes from them or remain silent.
Chinedu Obasi in an Instagram Live chat had alleged that he was asked to pay before making the team to the 2014 World Cup but didn’t mention those who demanded the bribe from him.
Echiejile was part of the Eagles squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa but missed out on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil due to injury.
He said there was never a time any of the national team coaches asked for money from him to be included in the squad for a major tournament or a qualifying game.
“It’s very ridiculous with these allegations going round, and I wonder why the names of these people are not mentioned,” Echiejile told Global News Nigeria.
“They should call out those who asked for bribes. As for me, I played under the late Amodu Shuaibu and Stephen Keshi and there was no time they asked for money from me to be included in the team.”
Striker Emmanuel Emenike, top scorer at the 2013 AFCON, said the late Keshi rejected an honorarium he offered him when he signed an endorsement deal just after Nigeria qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“For me, I have never paid anyone in the national team. Even when I had an endorsement with Guinness, I tried giving Keshi something out of goodwill but he said, ‘No, I don’t need anything from you,’” Emenike was quoted as saying by Owngoalnigeria.
Emenike made 37 appearances for the Eagles, netting nine times with six assists.
Godfrey Oboabona said he was not asked to pay any amount to make the trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
“I don’t know why such accusations are coming out,” Oboabona told AOIFootball.com.
“I was a Sunshine Stars player then and wouldn’t have had that kind of money to pay, so how will he (Obasi) say we paid money to be a part of the World Cup.
“Azubuike Egwueke, Ejike Uzoenyi, Kunle Odunlami, Chigozie Agbim and myself were all playing in the NPFL and the coach told us that we merited the team because we worked hard and deserved to play at the World Cup.”