Vincent Enyeama ditched the Super Eagles in Belgium; calling time on his international career, but not without some controversy. He alleged the head coach Sunday Oliseh insulted his late mother, had security throw him out of the camp and stripped him. In an exclusive interview with www.footballlive.ng Sunday Oliseh debunked the claims insisting the 33-year-old defamed.
The full excerpt of the interview:
I am deeply saddened, troubled and profoundly hurt by the assassination of my person as Vincent Enyeama has done over the past two days on social about me insulting his mother, these allegations are unheard of.
When I was appointed the chief coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, I drove to Lille to see Vincent, took him to lunch and discussed how we wanted to move forward with him as my captain. I shared my philosophy with him and he made a statement I didn’t like, he said he was going to retire in a year or two and I told him I wouldn’t hear of it as he was the captain of the team because we were thinking of taking the team to the 2017 AFCON and 2018 World Cup; but we can’t build a team with you as captain if you are retiring in 2017.
2 weeks ago before the camp started he told us about his mother’s burial but I couldn’t go and there was an arrangement with the President who assured me he’d be there on behalf of the NFF and team. But he started talking about retirement so at that moment I felt we needed someone else as captain; it had nothing to do with hurting anybody.
I don’t know Vincent personally, I’ve only been named coach and in fact we’ve seen only once. He’s served Nigeria very well and as Captain, I was also captain and I know how difficult that job is.
We started camp on Monday, to my greatest surprise Mikel Obi and Ighalo camp in on Sunday night. We had invited 4 goalkeepers and he told us he had to bury his mother. So, Obviously he couldn’t report to camp early until Tuesday, just about the time we were rounding up; he drove into training ground.
Prior to his coming in, we had the Nigeria ambassador to Belgium come in to talk with the team because our delegation had not been given visas to come in, 6 players were stuck in Nigeria over the hitch; 2 of them were goalies. And somebody had to act in the absence of the Captain which Musa had been doing well prior to the Tanzania and Niger games. And I remember, when the Ambassador wrapped up I told Musa; as the captain, to introduce the team as a way to appreciate the support.
But the boys did not train well that afternoon, the ball playing was good but our objectiveness on the ball was not up to my liking so later at dinner I called the team and told them I was not happy and demanded more from them. Only for Vincent to stand up insisting on saying somethings but I told him to see me about it later. He refused and as side talks persisted I called him to order, he started raising his voice, I told him we couldn’t have two coaches in the team and that he had to retire to his room. His colleagues got up and escorted him out of the hall. Two of his colleagues came in later to see me; the Captain Ahmed Musa and Mikel Obi, pleaded on his behalf and we left it there. Only for issues to start popping up on social media alleging we insulted him and his late mother.
Most people are not aware of this but I’ll tell you now that when we went to play in Tanzania I personally asked for the team to wear the black band in honor of his mother and for us to observe a minute’s silence , we asked and we went through the channel of Dayo Enebi, but they said we should have made the demand earlier, does this sound like a man who wants to humiliate his captain?
What happened after wards, was alarming. We had only two goalkeepers, 15 players and we were playing a friendly game so we had to call in players who did not need visas to come into Belgium as quick as possible to make up numbers. We now had to call in Alampasu because we had only 2 goalkeepers; we were already making a case with Alloy to get ready if anything happened. We called Efe Ambrose and Madu in, working like we were a fire brigade.
I did not even have time to reply social media chats because we had to work.
However on the match day, Vincent did not come to lunch, I was confused because I thought we’d put all of the previous night’s issues behind us. I called him and asked why he wasn’t in for lunch and he said he was returning to his club. He said because I invited Alampasu he was leaving. Alloy Agu is my witness, God is my witness.