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Nigeria’s soccer body moves to maintain discipline among national team players


Apparently jolted into action by the face-off between Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said the long awaited code of conduct for the national team will come into force in a matter of weeks.

Oliseh’s decision to strip Enyeama of Nigeria’s captaincy had last week sparked a row between the duo at the Super Eagles’ camp in Belgium, where the squad took on Congo DR and Cameroun in friendly games.

Speaking in an interview, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, said that a code of conduct for players and officials of the various national teams would soon come into force.

The document, he assured, was ready and would be implemented soonest to guide the conduct of players, officials and coaches and minimise areas of conflict and tension in the national camp.

“A small group had been working on the document and I am happy to say that it is now ready for implementation,” said Pinnick.

“This will spell out how players and officials must conduct themselves while in any of the national camps, and minimise the probability of misunderstanding between coaches and players.

” Irked by what he perceived as “unfair treatment”, Enyeama, had last Thursday called it quits with the Super Eagles after earning 101 caps over a 13-year period.

But Pinnick said the NFF would not allow the Lille of France goalie to quit the Nigeria squad in an unceremonious manner.

A testimonial, he revealed, would be organised for Enyeama, saying he deserves “an honourable exit” from the Super Eagles.

Enyeama had on Saturday returned to Belgium to meet with NFF president, including the federation’s 1st Vice-President Seyi Akinwunmi and 2nd Vice-President Shehu Dikko.

Pinnick, it was learnt, told Enyeama in clear terms that the country is bigger than any individual, and that even if he was determined to quit international football, he did not have to do so in a situation of acrimony.

“I told him that he did so well for Nigeria over the past 13-and-half years that he had been there, and by all means, is deserving of a honourable exit,” said the NFF boss.

“Whatever the situation, whether he decides to return to the team or not, the NFF will organise a worthy testimonial match in his honour because he served the nation so well.

“However, the head coach is in full charge of the team and the camp at all times, and that fact must be respected. The NFF will support and respect the decision of the head coach of any of the national teams at all times.

“Both Oliseh and Enyeama are true heroes of Nigeria football, if you look at what they achieved at different times. But Oliseh is head coach now and in charge of the team. We will continue to respect his contract; our role as a federation is advisory.


–  Oladipo Okubanjo.

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