Former Nigerian midfielder, Sunday Oliseh has revealed that the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) tried to sack Clemens Westerhof as the coach of the senior national team prior to Nigeria’s first-ever appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Oliseh, who was a member of the team that won Nigeria’s second Africa Cup of Nations title in Tunisia 94′, stated this in his book, titled ‘Audacity to Refuse’.
The former Borussia Dortmund star noted that Westerhof confined on him on the move by the NFA to sack without any genuine reasons.
Oliseh was a key member of the Super Eagles team that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia under Dutch tactician Clemens Westerhof.
“Prior to President (Sani) Abacha’s call, I received a surprising response, a summon from coach Westerhoff to his room. He inquired how my knee injury was going. Before I could give a response he informed me that I had to do everything possible to play as my role had become extremely important to our success and my absence would be disastrous for us as he had no credible replacement.
“He shocked me as he informed me that since I had become one of the influential players of the team in a short time, he wanted to let me know that his position was being threatened. He informed me that the FA was trying to sack him before the World Cup.
“With hindsight, I believe he needed my backing should my opinion be sought from above regarding his future. This was confusing, while it was flattering to see how important God had made me with the Super Eagles in a very short time. I was also put in a complicated position at the same time,” Oliseh said in his book.”
He was also part of the squad that won the 1996 Olympic Gold medal in Atlanta.
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