Vincent Enyeama, the beloved goalkeeper and captain of the Nigerian football team, has retired from international football following a row with coach Sunday Oliseh.
According to various reports, the goalie was stripped of the captaincy by Oliseh after arriving a day late for Nigeria’s training camp in Belgium. Enyeama had attended his mother’s funeral and was ordered to apologize to his teammates for his late arrival.
Speaking to ESPN, the beloved goalie said:
“There has been a lot of incidents these last few months. I don’t need it, the team does not need it, so maybe the best thing might be to step aside in the interest of the country so that the team can focus on football instead of distractions.”
On explaining why he was a day late:
“I was surprised. So I stood up to explain my position and ask for an explanation, but the coach asked me to sit down. I insisted on speaking because I felt that with the years of dedicated service I have given to the country I deserve at least the respect of giving my own side. But he told me that either the whole team would leave the room, it I would have to leave the room for the whole team.”
I don’t understand why Enyeama had to apologize for being a day late given that he had to attend the funeral of his mother. The coach was in the wrong to dehumanize this man in his time of grief. The goalie later took to Instagram to further express his concern over the way he was treated:
“After 13 years on national service, having this smile on my face and this passion in my heart. Through the billows, the waves of the ocean, the tears of defeat, the sound of rejoicing from victory chants. Now the thought of being stripped naked and security agents throwing me outbreaks me completely. I will take anything buy not insult to my dead mother.”
Enyeama has 101 caps with Nigeria.