Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Ex Players Of The Super Eagles Have Placed A Curse On The National Team- Taribo West

The former AC Milan centre-back said the players became aggrieved after they were poorly treated despite giving the best part of their youthful lives to the national but were dumped when they got injured while either representing the country or on retirement.

He said it was one of the major reasons why Nigerian football had experienced a downward slide in the last decade, except for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations success.

“Administrators in the past committed a lot of atrocities against Eagles players and in anger these players cursed the team. Stephen Keshi led the Eagles to win the AFCON title two years ago through the grace of God. We all saw the problems the team encountered before winning the trophy in South Africa,” the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medallist said.

“Imagine a nation you serve, you get injured and nobody cares; they dump you. Look at the way a player like (Rashidi) Yekini served the team and died. It shouldn’t have been. Somebody needs to go to his family and compensate them. (Sunday) Eboigbe has been paralysed for years and nobody has gone to see him. Will you say such a man, who gave his best for his country, shouldn’t curse his country?”

The 1998 UEFA Cup winner, who is now a pastor, admitted that he too was initially aggrieved at the way he was treated and pushed out of the national but has forgiven those involved.

“I have forgiven them but look at the way I was sent packing from the national team. I spoke for the young players in the team, who didn’t have a voice and they banned me.Why won’t I be aggrieved? Since then they (Eagles) haven’t had a good defence,” the no-nonsense ex-player said.

He said government should have provided a pension scheme for its ex-athletes and those who had served the country well, like its done in Europe and other parts of the world.

Taribo added, “Here there is nothing for ex-internationals. In all the countries I played in Europe, there are some monies like pension that I will collect when I attain a certain age because I paid my taxes while there. We don’t have such here.”

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