Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has fired back at those criticising him following Nigeria’s first round exit at the Rwanda 2016 African Nations Championship.
The former Nigeria captain has come under heavy criticism from fans and the media, with some calling for the Nigeria Football Federation to replace him with “an experienced coach”.
In a video update on his website on Sunday, the former Ajax midfielder says he does not deserve the brickbats being hurled at him ever since the Eagles exited Rwanda 2016.
Oliseh says the Nigeria Football Federation reserves the right to terminate his contract if they are not satisfied with his performance.
He said, “I didn’t beg for this job, I didn’t even want this job. I refused it twice and it took the intervention of a highly respected friend of mine, who was in government, for me to concede and take this job. I took it not to serve special interests. I took it to serve Nigerians, and if there’s one thing I know that my people know, forget the critics, is that I am patriotic and I do it because I love my nation because the nation in so many ways has made me what I am and at the same time, this is where I belong.”
The Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner added, “I want to speak on the insanity that has befallen some of our national team critics.
“I call it insanity because you must be insane to start seeking a plebiscite on the future of the national team coach of Nigeria because we lost CHAN. With all due respect, CHAN is the least of important tournament in the calendar of CAF and it is a tournament that measures the strengths of leagues against one another. This is because you can see how far Congo have gone and one of their clubs, TP Mazembe, you see how far they go in the CAF competitions.
“What then should be done to the coaches of Ghana, South Africa and Egypt, who did not qualify for this tournament? I understand that we are sad that we lost. But this insanity, this constant insanity that each time the Super Eagles lose, some usual critics go on air and start airing a plebiscite on the future of the team’s coach. That is madness.
“The contract is made out. We signed a contract, me and the NFF. If they aren’t happy with the performance, it is okay, we go over it and we shake hands. But I will like to remind you that this is the 14th game I have been in charge of the Super Eagles and we’ve lost only two; and only one official game.
“We’re still on track to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. We have qualified for the group stages of the World Cup, so where is this failure that some of our critics are trying to sell to Nigerians coming from. Unless you mean that for coach Sunday Oliseh and his crew to be successful they must win every match, Jesus Christ! Even the world champions Germany are not doing that – not to speak of of us that are a brand new team that we’ve just started building just for some months now.”
“This team we took to CHAN now has seven players that are almost certainly going to leave the shores of our country to play in Europe because as I am made aware, clubs are interested in signing them already. In so many ways we are sad, but in so many ways I am proud of what we have been able to achieve with the Eagles.”
Nigeria take on Egypt in next month’s Gabon 2017 double header hoping to overhaul record seventh-time champions Pharaohs, who lead Group G on six points. The Eagles are second on four points.
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