Vincent Enyeama full interview on the Oliseh rift and the verdict.
Vincent Enyeama and Sunday Oliseh.
The rift between Vincent Enyeama and Sunday Oliseh still dominates the back pages of the newspapers and internet pages.Enyeama has now retired from the Super Eagles and according to him,Oliseh has told him i don't know you and don't want to know you.How the two are going to work together remains a mystery.The NFF had a meeting with Enyeama in Belgium and they say they have sorted it all out.This interview with Galaxy Tv was before that meeting in Belgium,where the NFF claim the have settled the rift and both men spoke.But in this interview,Enyeama reveals exactly what went down.I don't understand why NFF insisted he report to camp,when they should have been telling him to take time off and mourn his mother.It was only a couple of friendly games,nothing important.This man has played for 13 years,we all know what he can do,he is the best goalkeeper in France,why did you need him in camp? IS HE A MACHINE WITHOUT EMOTIONS ,that he can't be allowed or given time off to mourn his mother?
Read the interview below...
We have heard so much about your rift with Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh. tell us,
what has been going on?
First, of all, I want to thank Nigerians. I appreciate the passion, the criticism, everything. I want to say a very big thank you.
On the issue on ground, I think this is not the best way to treat someone who has served the country with so much enthusiasm and so much passion, so much dedication, you know, commitment. I think I have honoured almost all the matches I have been invited to play for the Super Eagles.
So to be treated the way I was treated a couple of days ago, I personally don’t accept that.
What really happened in the camp between you and Oliseh? How were treated?
When I came to camp, I had no issues with my coach. The coach has been a big part of me. He is there for me. He fought for me when I had issues with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). The coach defended me all the way. I have never had an issue with him.
He (Oliseh) doesn’t know me. I don’t know him. We have never played together. We have never shared a football field, together.
The first thing that happened when I first arrived at the camp was a meeting. At the meeting, the coach addressed the players. The first thing he said was that he invited four goalkeepers to camp because he never expected me to come to the camp.
Secondly, he said that I was no more the captain of the team. That he had decided and he calls the shots. That was before dinner. He ended his speech with, “Enjoy your dinner”.
For me, it was a little bit shocking because I spoke with the NFF chairman (Amaju Pinnick) during the burial of my mother in Akwa Ibom. I was trying to excuse myself from coming to the camp because of the burial. He said, “No, Vincent, you have to be in camp”. He pushed me to be in camp. And because I really respect him (Pinnick), I told him I was going to leave everything, the thanksgiving service for my late mum. I told him, I was going to abandon it and come to the camp, which I did.
All the family meetings, everything we had to do with the people in the village, I abandoned all that and came to the camp.
So, for me to get my first welcome message of being stripped of captainship was a little bit not good for me. And after I had taken my food and ate, dinner had commenced. I am just telling you what played out.
I said, “Coach, please, I would like to say something.” He said, “No, you can’t talk”. I insisted that I wanted to talk. He insisted that I can’t talk. He then said that if I wanted to talk, he would order the team out and nobody would listen to me and I would sit there and talk alone or I would have to walk out if I insisted on talking.
I said, “Coach, I still want to say something.” And he said, “Vincent, get out! You have to leave now. If you don’t leave, I’m going to call the cops, the security to throw you out of this hotel.” He used the word, “security”.
He then got up, went to the door and opened it and commanded me to go out. He said, “Go out, go out, Vincent! Or I am going to call the security.”
So that is how it played out.
So, for me to lose my mother, be invited to the camp, only to be stripped of captainship. Then out of argument, to be threatened to have the cops or security called for me, to me, I think it is the height of it.
I have heard all sorts of things that Neymar this and that. They never treated Thiago Silva that way. They never treated Mascherano that way. Some Nigerians can say whatever they want to say, but for me, I feel that’s not the right way to be treated.
I am still open for playing for Nigeria till the day I die. Till the day I can stop playing football. Till the day God gives me the grace to stop playing football or to keep playing football. As long as I can play football, I will play for my country. Even at the age of 100, if I can play football, I am still open to playing for Nigeria.
But, now, I just want to go home and be with my family.
Does this mean that after speaking with the NFF, you will seek official excuse to leave the camp?
Yesterday, the coach (Oliseh) came back to the bus and said he doesn’t know me, he doesn’t want to know me, he doesn’t care about me, and he doesn’t have anything to do with me.
That is a part of this issue that people don’t know because I haven’t said anything. I keep my mouth quiet, and I said nothing on that bus.
When he said this, you still trained with the team?
I am still with the team because Pinnick told me to wait till he comes (to Belgium). The president of the NFF told me to wait, that is why I am waiting. I am respecting him. That is why I am still in the camp.
The coach said he doesn’t need me, doesn’t want me, he doesn’t know me. And he doesn’t want to know me. So, I shouldn’t be forced to play with such a coach.
I don’t have a problem with him (Oliseh). He is a great man. He is a a great guy. He is a nice guy. But, I tell you the truth, I just wanna go home and be with my family. This period, I am mourning my mum, I don’t want any more problems. Now, people are saying all kinds of things like, “Vincent is stubborn”.
I don’t know if there is anybody in this world who is treated that way that would not want to know why he is being stripped of the captainship.
I am not so concerned about being captain. I don’t have a problem with it (being removed as captain). But, I think I should be given an excuse, a reason why.
I have been playing for Nigeria for 13 years. So I feel if a decision is being taken on me, I think I deserve to know why.
And moreso, I was being invited. I did not come through the backdoor. I was invited.
In my club, in the European Club, if a coach doesn’t play you in a match, he comes to your room, or he calls you, or he invites you to his room. He tells you, “You’re not going to play today, because I want to field another player”. It shows respect.
I have worked so hard for my country. I was part of the success of Nigerian football, then I am being treated like that without being given a chance to express myself. Then, I think that is not fair.
I am feeling so sad. I am feeling really, really sad. Because I would have stopped playing football for Nigeria after the World Cup. But, then, I changed my mind because I love the country so much. I love Nigeria so much. I want her to return to glory. I want to be part of that glory. I want to be part of the pain. I want to be part of what happens in Nigerian football. It breaks my heart that Nigerian football is struggling. But, then, I want to be part of rewriting our story.
But, if the coach and the people don’t want me to be part of it, I believe there are better ways of taking me out. You can call me and talk to me. You can send me a message. You can do a phone call. You don’t need to invite me to camp, to tell me in the presence of everyone. You don’t need to invite me to tell me that you’re going to call the cops for me.
I did nothing wrong. I am not an armed robber. I feel bad, I feel bad. I am telling you the truth. I feel really bad. I feel very sad.
In this trying moment, when you lost your mother, and are now dealing with this row with your coach, what can you say you have learnt from this episode. What have you taken away from all this?
I have learnt a lot. Not to trust any man. But to trust only God. Only God doesn’t disappoint. But this is so painful for me. What do you think those young players will think? ‘Oh, if Vincent is being treated this way, what about me? I don’t have a future.’ It discourages people from playing for their country. It discourages people from giving so much for this country. Imagine you were working so hard for your establishment and one day , your boss walks in and says,”You’re fired.” How would you feel?
Answer me. In the presence of everybody in the meeting room, he says, “Mr. Peter, you’re fired! You are relieved of your duties.” I wonder what you would do?
I would summon up courage and ask why.
That is what I did. I asked, ‘Why?’ And he said, “Walk out or I’ll call the cops.”
There is a report that you entered into an altercation with Oliseh. Did you threaten to fight your coach at any point in time?
Never. Never. Never. God is my witness. God is the judge. I was prevented from speaking. I was never even given a chance to speak.
I have heard a lot of people say I should have sat down. I should have taken it easy.
For God’s sake, I have played for Nigeria for 13 years. Not one, not two (but 13 years).
So, if I am being treated like a player who is just coming into the camp for his debut game, then I don’t need to be here. It’s a simple thing.
The coach says he doesn’t count on me. I don’t have a problem with that. For me, I just want to respect my mum and walk home.
The whole thing just shows lack of class and human compassion on the path of NFF and Oliseh,which is a shame cos i like Oliseh.In the first place,Enyeama had no business being in that team after just losing his mother a week ago.The NFF were wrong to say you should be in camp Enyeama.Now i will give you example of what class and human compassion is,when Cristiano Ronaldo was playing for Man Utd,his father fell ill with cancer...everybody knows how Cristiano Ronaldo trains and takes football seriously.After every training session,Ronaldo stays behind and trains some more on his own,we have all heard that story.
But Ronaldo called Alex Ferguson and said boss,i'm sorry i don't feel well,i am thinking about my father i can't play.This was at a period of importance in champions league and premiership,and Ronaldo was United's best player.You know what Fergie said? He told him,Ronaldo,i will miss you because this is an important period and you are so important to us,but your father is more important.Go away,2 days 3 days,1 week ,as long as it takes,we are here for you. Now that is class.That is compassion,how do you think Ronaldo will play when he comes back? He will be ready to run through a brick wall for Fergie.AND THAT WAS WHY HE WON SO MUCH AND WAS THE GREATEST MANAGER.THAT IS CLASS..THAT IS MAN MANAGEMENT,and that is what Nigeria or Oliseh lack.
The second thing is,the captain is the next important person to the coach,under no circumstance do you take the captainship in public,you call the captain privately,thank him for his time and service and say something like,i am thinking of the future and have appointed Ahmed Musa,but you are still a leader in the team.It is called respect and its recipocal.
Another thing is,why did Oliseh miss Enyeama mother's burial? I know some Nigerians will say he doesn't have to be there.Well ,i beg to differ.If a man is the captain of the National team,you as a coach owe it to the player and the nation to be there in official capacity.What was Oliseh doing? Was he scouting a match? It was disrespectful.When Enyeama went to bury his mother,Oliseh said i don't know where Enyeama is.How could he say that? It just shows this goes deeper.You come to the western world,a player loses his family member ,the whole team and manager goes to the burial as a sign of respect.Are we so cold that we have no compassion in Nigeria? Africans are known for their togetherness in times like this,where did all that go? What does it do for team spirit when the news players and rest of the players in camp see how a man who gave service for 13 years is treated?
Enyeama has been let down both as a human and as a professional..Thank you.
UPDATE************* Super Eagles keeper and captain, Vincent Enyeama, who Thursday, October 8 announced his retirement from the team has agreed to return. Enyeama’s decision to return was taken yesterday in Belgium after a three- hour meeting with the president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick.
Pinnick told Sunday Sunsports exclusively after the meeting ...
“I had a very fruitful meeting with Enyeama. Our meeting lasted for three hours and I must tell you that all is well now. Enyeama will return after the game against Cameroon tomorrow (today). He spoke with Oliseh on phone after our meeting. He (Enyeama) is not in camp at the moment but he is likely going to watch the match against Cameroon from the stands,” Pinnick disclosed.