Revealed: Real reasons Osaze was excluded from Super Eagles for AFCON 2013

Osaze Odemwingie
Osaze Odemwingie

Osaze was omitted by Keshi from the Super Eagles team for AFCON 2013.

West Bromwich Albion striker, Osaze Odemwingie, a one-time sweet heart of Nigerian football, was excluded from the Super Eagles team for the African Cup of Nations, AFCON 2013, because of two demands he made of team handlers, PREMIUM TIMES can reveal.

The former Nigerian Player of the Year tried to have his cake and eat it when he suggested to the Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, that he (Odemwingie) shuttle between South Africa and England during the tournament, a top official of the Nigerian Football Federation has told PREMIUM TIMES.

While the AFCON is taking place in South Africa, the source said Osaze wanted to be able to play for both his club and country during the period of the tournament by travelling between South Africa and Britain.

The official, who preferred anonymity so as not to be dragged into a war of words with Osaze and the technical crew, said Osaze was initially on Coach Keshi’s list for the competition.

He said Osaze gave Keshi two conditions for playing for Nigeria during the AFCON tournament.

“The player said his wife is due for delivery on January 9, and would love to be with her when she gives birth,” the source said.

While the AFCON will take place in South Africa between January 19 and February 10, all invited players are expected to have resumed camp by the first week of January.

The second reason was the player’s insistence that he wanted to shuttle between South Africa and England because he has club commitments, the source said.

Osaze is a vital player for his club which has an ambition to qualify for Europe in the English Premier League.

The official said Keshi refused and instead decided to omit Odemwingie from AFCON 2013.

Keshi said he wants full control of the players during the AFCON games, the official said.

Like Osaze like Keshi

Osaze’s suggestion to shuttle between London and South Africa is however not new to Nigerian football.

The player was probably just trying to emulate his coach, Keshi.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that during the AFCON in Morocco in 1988; under the leadership of Paul Hamilton, Keshi played only two of five games for Nigeria.

Keshi, one of the very few Nigerian players plying their trade in Europe then, shuttled between his Belgian club and Morocco during the competition due to his club commitments.

An angry Osaze, perhaps feeling angry the coach would not allow him enjoy what Keshi, as a player, enjoyed, took to twitter to react to his exclusion from the Eagles for AFCON 2013.

In several tweets on Sunday, Osaze expressed surprise at his exclusion and blasted both Keshi and the NFF

“Keshi has no footballing reasons not to invite me but is not saying the truth. He is still in my plans he said haha coach u no dey my plans,” Odemwingie said in one of his now famous tweets.

Efforts to get Keshi to react to this new information were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off. The gaffer had, however, said earlier that Osaze was simply not in his plans for the competition; and, like other dropped players, would not be missed.

Other senior officials of the NFF also appealed not to be quoted as they would not want to be dragged into the war of words between Osaze and the football federation.


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    Its unfortunate that most of our foreign players are insisciplidne in words and in actions. Is it because they have made money they think they can do whatever tthey like? Keshi holds the mantle of the team’s leadership. If the team fails, Keshi will be blamed not Osaze. Keshi has the authority to manage his team the way he thinks best. Nobody should dictate to him or insult him. Every coachh has his style and principles. I am in support of Keshi. Bro osas should pls stay back and take care of his wife and keep his club commitments. Afterall a Nigerian proverbs says “you cannot climb a tree carrying two things on both hands”. Osaze has three things in both hands and Keshi has chose for him the best. Goodluck Super Eagles.

  • amazed

    This Osaze guy is proud and brash. Has he no parents
    to call him to order? like this should have no place in the Nigerian team. Pride goes before a fall. I see this guy falling badly.

  • Sam Egbuchiri

    Let us support Keshi. Osase had not been loyal. Several times Keshi would call him and Osase never bothered to pick his calls. Osase was discovered by Christian Chukwu in 2002 through Yobo and the coach Keshi has a responsibility to discover new ones.Cantona of Manchester was turned by French coach Amie Jackie during 1998 World Cup, yet France won it with young players, some of whom are still playing now.What we need are hungry players and not disrespectful stars. He should learn from Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Uche Okechukwu

  • Nigerian DJs play catalonia

    How can you leave out one of the best strikers in England? How it is just unexplainable. Is he not better dan those bunch of DJs you took to catalonia.

  • plain truth.

    Like Siasia like Keshi! Those of us who are supporting the big boss for excluding one of his best soldiers in a vital battle shouldn’t cry to me later when we crash out of the contest.besides we need some known faces to attract us to renew our interest in the super eagles.osaze should be recalled.