Former Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh has lambasted the Nigeria Football Federation over the removal of Desire Oparanozie as the Super Falcons Captain for leading a protest against unpaid bonuses.
Apart from removing Oparanozie as the captain and appointing Asisat Oshoala, the NFF also dropped the former Falcons captain from the list of players for the friendly tournament in Turkey despite her sterling performances for Dijon in the French league.
Instead, NFF and the Super Falcons Coach Randy Waldrum invited 38-year-old Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega, and Chinwendu Ihezuo, who had not played any competitive match for any club for over 11 months.
Oparanozie’s exclusion raised eyebrows, with some fans insisting she was sidelined following her part in protests against unpaid bonuses at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, and not for football reasons.
Oliseh spoke while narrating how he was kicked out as the Super Eagles captain during an interview session on PUNCH Online programme, Kick $ Follow on Friday.
He explained that Oparanozie could have collected her own bonuses and ignore others but she acted as a “true leader” by fighting for the right of her teammates.
According to Oliseh, he was offered to be given his unpaid bonuses as a player to the detriment of his colleagues but refused.
The former Super Eagles coach also faulted Super Falcons players for accepting NFF’s invitation after their captain was “criminally” dealt with.
Oliseh also expressed reservation over another player’s acceptance as the new captain of the team, insisting that the right thing to do was to defend Oparanozie’s position.
When asked about how Oparanozie is being treated for her role in a protest against unpaid bonuses, Oliseh said, “What they did to this girl (Oparanozie) is criminal because she did not do anything wrong. Nigeria is a good nation, but we can improve on attacking the victim. The victim, in this case, is Oparanozie.
Her colleagues should have done just one thing – If you punish our captain, we are not also coming. My position at the Olympics helped us so much and I had the support of my teammates.
“What they did to this girl (Oparanozie) hurts me so much and I tweeted that where are your teammates. In a team, you have people who want to wear the band to shake the hands. They don’t want to go through the pains. Those ones will be happy that they punished her (Oparanozie). It is not a matter of turn by turn. You are serving your country.”
He, however, clarified that he had no conflict with the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, before resigning as the Super Eagles Captain.
Oliseh said Pinnick and other NFF stakeholders are informed about his new book, ‘Audacity to Refuse’, where he wrote about the golden generation of Nigeria football.
“Our people are not always told the truth. I notified Pinnick and others that the book is coming out. I have no problems with them. I got tired of no support and the way things were going. They spent hours trying to convince me about it (not to resign). I am on good terms with them,” he added.
The PUNCH reports that players and officials of the Nigerian women’s team staged a sit-in protest in Grenoble, France in June 2019 over a backlog of unpaid bonuses for World Cup appearance fees.
Before protesting in France after their Women’s World Cup exit, the team had protested over bonuses in 2004 in South Africa and 2016 in Abuja.
During the 2016 protest, members of the female team stormed the National Assembly after winning the 10th edition of the African Women championship held in Cameroon.
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