NFA Still Owes Me N1.4m Six Years After

| January 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

NFA Still Owes Me N1.4m Six Years After  print

Published on January 23, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

Ex-Super Eagles leftback, Ifeanyi Udeze in this revealing interview told ADEBOBOLA ALAWODE that the Nigeria Football Association, NFA now NFF still owes him 1.4million naira six years after he last played for the country, his coming into football, Eagles’ chances at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in South Africa among other issues.

The Eagles played a goalless draw against Burkina Faso at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in South Africa, what is your assessment?

It was a good game because at least they picked a point, if they had lost it would had been a disaster.

How will you rate the team’s performance?

It was’t a bad one at all because some of the players were just making their Nations Cup debbut so you should expect some lapses from them, I should hope that the lapses are corrected before their next game against the defending champions, Zambia.

If you are in the team or you have an opportunity to talk to the Eagles what will you tell them?

Having played in two editions of the Nations Cup I feel I can speak well about the tourney but that does not mean that what I’m saying is right or wrong. Nations Cup is not a competition where you hope to have an easy ride over teams because there are no longer minnows in football.

I would tell the players to first of all be disciplined, if you look at the game between South Africa and Cape Verde you will discover that there are no longer small teams in football, every team wants to beat the Super Eagles to score a point.

They should also know that the tourney is for men and not boys so they should be committed to the course of the team play according to instructions given to them by the technical crew, they should aim to win the trophy because I’m also hungry for the trophy and all I want from them is the trophy.

You said you are hungry for the trophy, going by the scenario where we have 17 debutants in the team, do you think they can win the trophy?

We have a team that can help Nigeria win the trophy but it is quite unfortunate that players like Osaze Odemwingie, Taye Taiwo and Obafemi Martins can help the team if they had been included but I doubt if this Eagles can win the trophy. Football is a team sport so I would not say the absence of the trio would affect Eagles’ chances of clinching the trophy but they must play as a team. They also stand a chance to win the trophy if they play as a unit.

Are you saying Coach Stephen Keshi was wrong in his decision not to invite the aforementioned trio?

I’ve not said because he is the coach and he knows players that can fit into his plans so he decided to invite those that he feels can help him achieve his aspiration of clinching the trophy for Nigeria after achieving that as a player at the Tunisia 1994 edition.

However no matter what I believe the trio ought to be in the team because of their current form, I believe these guys have the experience, stamina and other attributes that can help the Eagles clinch the coveted trophy.

How will you rate the defense line of the Eagles?

If you look at the backline critically you will discover that Captain Joseph Yobo does not know the defenders very well so it is always causing problems for the team, believe you me I know there are going to be a lot of errors that is why I said Taiwo’s experience would help ease Yobo’s problem in defence.

You have been out of the sporting circle for a while what have you been doing?

I have been injured since; I have had four operations and would undergo another in July to ensure that even if I won’t be able to play actively I can still train because football is my way of life. That is why I have been doing my own things because I can’t fold my arms and waste my time away.

Are you into coaching or scouting like some ex-internationals have been doing?

I’m into business that is it.

There were rumors flying around that your marriage actually crashed, what is happening to your marriage?

There is no iota of truth in what some of what you read in papers, my marriage is still intact. I just had my second my child two years ago. If you want to know what is happening to my family you can come to house and you will see my wife and children.

It was actually reported that either of you was filling a divorce suit?

There is and there was no court case nothing like that is why I like journalists like you, who verify their facts before publishing, some people will just go out and start peddling rumors around.

Sometimes ago it was in the news that you had problems with some of members of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA now Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, what was the problem then?

I don’t know if the problem is there because as I speak with you I’m still owed a huge amount of monies. During my time in the Eagles you will play some matches instead of paying all your allowances some in the Glass House will short pay you telling you to come back.

It was very worrisome playing for the Eagles, when your entitlements are not being paid as at when due.

Are you saying you still know the amount you are being owed?

Yes, I’m still being $9,000.

You were invited for a qualifying for match to the Ghana 2008 Nations Cup but you turned down the invitation, what was your reason?

What actually happened was that I was injured while playing for the Eagles in 2007 and to my greatest surprise nobody from the Glass House called to know how I was recuperating only for me to receive the invitation and I had no choice than to tell the NFA no!.

You played under Keshi, when he was an assistant coach in the Eagles, what is your view of him?

Keshi is a good coach, a focused one that when he tells you that it is time for play you play and also when it is time for work he doesn’t tolerate laziness or indiscipline.

Which of the matches that you played for the national team that you will consider the as being the toughest?

That should be a Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup qualifier against Ghana in Accra, PAOK Salonika didn’t want to release me for the game but I insisted that I was going, I arrived six hours before the match and I must confess it was real tough.

You grew up in Ajegunle, how was it like?

I don’t like dwelling much on my family background because I don’t want people to read meanings to it, I won’t say I grew up with a silver spoon but we were contented with what we had.

How did you come into football?

Like every child growing up I was always playing this street competitions so that was how I took it up.

 

Did your parents support you when you decided to take up football as a career?

You know the routine they were actually not in support of my decision but they later gave me their blessings and here I am today.

Are they reaping the dividends now and in what way?

I can’t start telling the world that I did these or that for them but there are testimonies to the fact that they are reaping the fruits of what they had actually not wanted me to do.

Who bought you your first football boot since your parents didn’t gave their blessings at their initial stage?

It was a man called Emmanuel but I can’t really recall his surname, he saw me playing and he told me that he loves the way I play and before I know it he brought me a new football boot.

What size of boots and which make you use?

I use size 43 and Nike is the designer I cherish so much.

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