Former Nigeria international Christian Chukwu has revealed how the trio of Victor Agali, Celestine Babayaro and Yakubu Aiyegbeni were caught bringing in women into the Super Eagles hotel at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
Aiyegbeni, Babayaro and Agali were kicked out of the 2004 AFCON after they were accused of bringing women into the team’s hotel.
The incident occurred after the Eagles lost 1-0 to Morocco in their opening group game.
And recalling what happened, Chukwu, speaking on “No Holds Barred” Thursday, a radio programme on Brila FM anchored by his former Super Eagles player, Ifeanyi Udeze, said: “We got report from the security people of the hotel who confirmed they (Agali, Aiyegbeni, Babayaro) came in with women into the hotel.
“The three of them didn’t deny it and it got their teammates really angry. First thing is discipline and if that decision was not taken what kind of message are you trying to send? And that’s why Osaze (Odemwingie) came up and proved himself.”
The 1980 AFCON winning captain stated that the decision to send the three players out of the tournament was a collective decision and not only the coaches.
Chukwu added: “The decision to send them away from the competition was not only taken by the coaches, it was a general decision.”
After the defeat to Morocco, the Eagles bounced back with a 4-0 win against South Africa and qualified for the quarter-final with a 2-1 victory over Benin Republic.
In the quarter-final, the Eagles came from a goal down to beat Cameroon 2-1 thanks to two brilliant goals by Austin Okocha and John Utaka.
Unfortunately, the Eagles lost on penalties to Tunisia in the semi-final before beating Mali 2-1 in the third placed match.
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