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‘Who’d demand bribe from an injured player?’ — Ex-Eagles official challenges Obasi to name names

An ex Super Eagles official, Ben Alaiya has challenged ex player of the team, Chinedu Obasi, to name the official who he alleged demanded bribe from him.

Obasi, a former winger of the national team, claimed in a recent interview that he was asked to give a bribe if he wanted to make the Nigeria squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The 33-year-old did not feature in any of the games in the qualifying series of the competition, but claimed he was offered a place in the final squad.

“Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team,” Obasi disclosed during an Instagram live chat.

“I said I’m not comfortable doing that. They said I should know the system, and I should act like I’m a Nigerian. I said it’s not about being a Nigerian but doing the right thing.

“I’ve kept it close to my chest since 2014 because you’d have unnecessary enemies when you talk.”

The winger went on to say he was heartbroken especially because he played for a big club at the time and believe he had ‘paid his dues’ as a patriotic Nigerian.

Read Also: I was asked to give a bribe, Chinedu Obasi explains absence in 2014 World Cup squad

But responding to the allegation, Alaiya, who was the then media officer of the Super Eagles, said the winger was dropped from the squad only because he was injured, and has challenged Obasi to name names.

“Let’s drop this foolery,” Alaiya stated on a WhatsApp platform as quoted by Punch.

“Obasi was dropped because he had a knee injury. I was the (Eagles) media officer then. Let him name those who demanded bribe from an injured player. My name is Ben Alaiya and I hate cheap blackmail.”

He added, “Apart from the Big Boss (then coach of the Eagles Stephen Keshi), all of us are alive to answer him. Even (Joseph) Yobo as captain was almost dropped because of the same knee issue.

“That’s why I asked him (Obasi) to name names, the Big Boss Keshi I know will never do that. He always told the players that he was richer than any of them and none could bribe him with gift or money.

“Repeat, Yobo was almost dropped for both the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and Brazil 2014 (World Cup) for injury reasons. Ask him (Yobo), at least he’s now an assistant coach with the same team

“I was never the coach but the Keshi I knew picked his team under the supervision of the NFF.

Obasi is yet to mention the names of the officials that requested a bribe, but the late Stephen Keshi were being assisted by ex internationals, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu.

The Super Eagles did not go past the second round of that competition as they crashed out after losing 2-0 to France.

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