Ex- Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Idah has stated that part of the reasons the Super Eagles were defeated and knocked Africa Cup of Nations was because they were distracted by promises of cash rewards and constant calls.
According to The Punch, Idah while speaking said on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Monday that it was wrong to have allowed the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema; and the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, to address players during halftime.
Sources also revealed that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), also made a video call to the team, barely six hours before the game.
Apart from the president, others who visited the Super Eagles are: the CBN governor, during halftime, where he relayed a message from business tycoon, Femi Otedola, promising them $250,000 (N104m) if they won the cup. Onyema had also promised to give the team N10m for each goal scored.
Another point he noted to back up his claims was players get distracted whenever people who are not part of the coaching team address them during halftime and promise them cash rewards.
He affirmed that the next coach of the Super Eagles must ensure that he is given full authority and does not permit such behaviour.
“We can’t have the President of the NFF addressing the players in the second half. That is not his responsibility. We can’t have the CBN governor addressing the players at halftime. That is not his responsibility. We can’t have the owner of Air Peace addressing the players at halftime. What time will the coach have?” Idah asked.
In his submission, Idah also revealed that the Super Eagles were overconfident and were already being addressed as champions when the tournament itself was still in the early stages.
He added that the government officials also did not help matters because of the incessant calls to the players.
Idah added, “We had won the gold in the bedroom. We had already started calling ourselves champions when we had not even qualified. I said it the other day that officials would begin to travel to the Super Eagles’ camp to make promises. ‘If you win the cup, this is the money you will get’. I mentioned this before.