Super Eagles Captain and  first-choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, has denied the rumoured rift with the football authorities and coaching crew, insisting that he opted out of last Saturday’s Afcon qualifiers against Tanzania due to shock of his mother’s death.

The Lille OSC of France goal-tender, who was criticized by coach Sunday Oliseh for the manner he pulled out of the crucial match, explained that he informed the relevant authorities about his bereavement through coach Oliseh as well as Team Secretary Enebi Dayo Achor. “I was completely devastated on hearing of the death of my mum that my mind went blank, it was totally unexpected. I immediately told my coach at LILLE and he informed the club management and they immediately called me to sympathise with me. I also called up coach Sunday Oliseh to tell him about it and I also called Dayo Enebi to tell him about my situation that I am not really sure I am strong enough to make the game.

“I asked Dayo to tell the NFF President, Pinnick and he said no since we didn’t want to disclose the situation but I could not call new goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu because I do not have his number. I communicated with them as they tried to persuade me to come and I guess that was when they bought my flight ticket to Nigeria but eventually I could not make it.”

Enyeama, who is Nigeria’s most capped player ever with 101 international caps said his decision to pull out was strictly due to the trauma of loss of his mum.  “My mind can’t just make it, this is a crucial game and I am not psychologically strong enough and can’t jeopardise our chances. How can I be fighting my superiors when the body of my mum is still cold, these things don’t happen to you daily, it’s not a normal challenge. I thought I have notified those I am supposed to because that was the normal procedure.”

He expressed his commitment to the national assignment. “I am sorry for whatever inconveniences all these might have caused but right now football is the last thing on my mind, losing my mum is the worst thing to have ever happened to my life and I have never travelled this road before, I am too sure that my commitment to Nigeria is 100 per cent and I respect my superiors,’” said Enyeama.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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