AFCON 2021: Sunday Oliseh Tips Cameroon As Credible Contenders

Oliseh lauds Cameroonian side as genuine contenders for AFCON 2021
File photo of former Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh

 

Super Eagles legend, Sunday Oliseh, has named the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon as genuine title contenders for the AFCON 2021.

Cameroon last won the title in 2017 after defeating Egypt at Gabon, courtesy of goals from Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar.

Oliseh who is no stranger to winning titles himself, after lifting the trophy in 1994, showered his admiration and praise for the Cameroonian side via his Twitter handle.

READ ALSO: Brentford Offer Christian Eriksen Six-Month Contract – Reports

“Tall, strong, solid, aggressive, compact hosts & relatively well organized! ” the former Super Eagles team coach wrote.

Despite a flaw of being non-progressive at times in their play, that didn’t deter the 47-year-old from pronouncing them as credible contenders for the AFCON title.

“The indomitable Lions team, though at times static & not so nimble-footed, is definitely, in my opinion, a credible title contender and Fun to watch with Aboubakar. AFCON is heating up!!,” he said.

 

The Indomitable Lions qualified to the knock-out stages of the competition after an emphatic 4-1 victory over the Ethiopian side.

Cameroon are vying for a 6th AFCON title, one short of 7-time winners Pharaohs of Egypt.

‘I Will Do It’: Oliseh Says He Is Open To Helping Nigerian Football

Oliseh Attacks Fortuna Sittard, Explains Why He Was Sacked
Oliseh had accused the NFF of treating foreign coaches better than their local counterparts.

 

Nigeria’s former captain Sunday Oliseh is not ruling out helping the country’s football, noting that he will always be available to offer his services to grow the game in the West African country.

The 46-year-old resigned as Super Eagles coach in 2016 after a fallout with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), vowing not to manage the team again under his previous working conditions.

But on Sunday, Oliseh who played for Dutch side Ajax between 1997 and 1999, admitted that he would not hesitate to take another stint with Nigerian football. 

“My country is my country, nobody can take it from me. You can make any comment you want to make, but I am first [a] Nigerian before anything else,” the 1996 Olympic gold medalist said while featuring on Channels Sports. “So, if my country really needs me to help out and they ask me to come and do it, I will do it.”

READ ALSO: I  Don’t Have A Problem With Sunday Oliseh – Enyeama

Oliseh a former coach of Dutch club Fortuna Sittard had in the wake of his departure as the Super Eagles coach accused the football federation of treating foreign coaches better than their local counterparts.

The Delta-born is doubling down on his stance, insisting that he will only offer his expertise to help Nigerian football when the right conditions are in place.

“But I will not do it if I am giving the best of my knowledge for my country to work and somebody is just taking it ‘yes or no’ and then eventually we all fail,” Oliseh, a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner, explained.

READ ALSO: Mediocrity Now Celebrated In Super Eagles, Says Sunday Oliseh

Oliseh won the 1994 AFCON with Nigeria.

 

Earlier in the year, the three-time World Cup participant refuted claims that he left the Nigerian coaching job because of voodoo, accusing the NFF of not supporting him when he was ill.

“I resigned from the Super Eagles because I had decided that when I was sick, I was going to stop because I did not get any help from the federation,” he noted, explaining that he brought fresh legs into the team.

He said players like Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, and others whom he called up to the national side were already playing “wonderful football, possession football, aggressive football, pressing football.”

 

 

Mediocrity Now Celebrated In Super Eagles, Says Sunday Oliseh

Super Eagles legend, Sunday Oliseh has lamented the fallen profile of the senior national team, saying that the 1994 African champions now lack quality. 

Oliseh said unlike his playing days, the present Super Eagles side can only boast of a handful of players featuring for top-flight European clubs.

“The demands that we have; the qualification that you have before you can play for the Super Eagles; the bar has been reduced,” the former Nigerian captain told Channels Television’s Sports This Morning on Friday.

“We as a nation are now happy with mediocrity. We celebrate even third place in Africa. When you are Nigerian, you are the best. You don’t celebrate even second.”

‘The Best Has To Play’

While recalling how he felt when the West African side lost the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final to Cameroon, he said playing for Nigeria should be a thing of pride, insisting that the best have to be picked for national assignments.

“That is why when I coached Super Eagles, the first thing I told them was ‘If you are not playing in the first division anywhere in the world, forget Super Eagles’ because the best has to play here,” the 1996 Olympic gold medalist added.

In the past, Oliseh noted that Nigerian players faced one another in the UEFA Champions League, but admitted that the situation is not the same presently, singling out Leicester City midfield enforcer, Wilfred Ndidi as one of the few doing well at the moment.

“We don’t have a lot of top players playing at the top level at the moment,” the Delta-born ex-footballer explained.  “In fact, the most solid player we have now is Ndidi because he has got a lot as a player. ”

Nigeria are billed to face the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on March 30, 2021, the first time the three-time African champions will be playing a competitive game in the city in 20 years.

A file photo of the Super Eagles of Nigeria during a training session.

 

And Oliseh who captained Nigeria when they lost the 2000 AFCON final in Lagos, has welcomed the move, describing fans in the commercial city as “demanding.”

“You have to be at your best to play there,” he said following the decision to bring the 2021 AFCON qualifier to Lagos.

He added, however, that, “there is an advantage to it. The advantage to it is that you always bring your ‘A’ game when you come to play for Nigeria and you know that you have to play well and it is not a luxury playing for Nigeria; it has to be  an honour wearing the green white green.”

Oliseh Explains Why He Left Super Eagles Coaching Job In 2016

Super Eagles legend Sunday Oliseh has refuted claims he left the Nigerian coaching job because of voodoo, explaining that he had issues with his health before quitting as the team’s gaffer in 2016. 

“I resigned from the Super Eagles because I had decided that when I was sick, I was going to stop because I did not get any help from the federation,” the former Ajax Amsterdam midfielder who won gold in the football event of the 1996 Olympics, told Channels Sports on Sunday.

“In fact, I did not get any kobo from that 11,300 Euro I spent and I told them about the fees. Nobody tried to help or support.”

Oliseh who featured for the three-time African champions in two World Cups explained that within his eight-month stint, he had groomed some players who were playing “wonderful football, possession football, aggressive football, pressing football.”

READ ALSO: Oliseh Attacks Fortuna Sittard, Explains Why He Was Sacked

He noted that after he took the Nigerian side to the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) 2016, he had to tender his resignation, dismissing insinuations that he left the job because he never loved the country.

Oliseh won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.

 

“How can you tell me you love Nigeria more than me?” he asked. “I have come out of a dying bed to help Nigeria get to the Nations Cup final in 2000. I have spent my money to finance the Super Eagles on several occasions.”

READ ALSO: I Don’t Have A Problem With Sunday Oliseh – Enyeama

The 2000 AFCON silver medalist, therefore, called on naysayers who think they love the country more, to prove their dedication to Nigeria by showing what they have done for it.

“If you love Nigeria, show me what you have done for Nigeria, not what you have taken from Nigeria,” Oliseh who was later appointed as coach of the Dutch side, Fortuna Sittard added.

Oliseh coached the West African side in fourteen matches and lost only two during that period.

 

 

Oliseh Attacks Fortuna Sittard, Explains Why He Was Sacked

Oliseh Attacks Fortuna Sittard, Explains Why He Was Sacked
File photo

 

Former Super Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh took a swipe at Fortuna Sittard after the second division Dutch club relieved him of his duties as their coach.

The club’s management had announced his sacking in a statement on Wednesday, saying the decision was as a result of his reported culpable actions for a longer period towards several persons in the organisation.

They claimed to have made several attempts to ensure Oliseh changes his behaviour but were unfortunately without any positive result.

“The board of Fortuna Sittard emphasises that the decision to disband Sunday Oliseh is not motivated by the current sporting performance (but) because of his inadmissible actions.

“The coach has made the cooperation with many people within the organisation impossible – from players to employees. Fortuna Sittard regrets the decision, but states that the club interest goes above all else,” the club had said.

Reacting to the allegations through his Twitter handle, Oliseh noted that the decision was made because he disagreed to get involved in illegal activities.

“I confirm: Due to my refusal to participate in illegal activities at Fortuna Sittard and violate the Law, I have been suspended from my duties as coach by the foreign owners of Fortuna,” he said.

The former Nigerian international further describe his sacking as “Unfortunate for the lovely fans, my players, and our hard-fought phenomenal positioning for promotion.”

Oliseh led Fortuna Sittard from the brink of relegation last season to the playoffs for top-flight promotion this season and are currently third on the league table.

Fortuna Sittard Sack Coach Sunday Oliseh

Fortuna Sittard Sack Coach Sunday Oliseh
File photo

 

Second division Dutch club Fortuna Sittard have sacked former Super Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh over actions not related to on-field performance.

The club management confirmed the sack on Wednesday in a statement issued on their website.

According to them, the decision is as a result of the repeatedly culpable actions for a longer period by the trainer towards several persons in the organisation.

“Several attempts by the club to move the trainer to other behaviour remained unfortunately without result, resulting in an unworkable situation as a result,” the statement read.

Oliseh has led Fortuna Sittard from the brink of relegation last season to the playoffs for top-flight promotion this season and are currently third on the league table.

After joining the club in January 2017, the management insisted that the former Nigerian international’s relationship with other personnel at the club left them with no choice but to let him go.

“The board of Fortuna Sittard emphasises that the decision to disband Sunday Oliseh is not motivated by the current sporting performance,” they said.

“Because of his inadmissible actions, the coach has made the cooperation with many people within the organisation impossible – from players to employees. Fortuna Sittard regrets the decision, but states that the club interest goes above all else.”

Oliseh Wins Best Trainer Award

Sunday Oliseh has been named as the best trainer for the first stanza of Dutch Jupiler league.

The former Super Eagles coach and captain will receive the bronze bull award after leading Fortuna Sittard to 3rd on the log in the Netherlands’ second tier.

Oliseh’s record this season stands at six wins, two draws and three defeats in 11 games with a plus 12 goal difference.

He will be presented with the award on Friday before Fortuna’s home match against fc OSS.

CAF Fines Nigeria For Overcrowded Stadium

CAFThe Confederation Of African Football (CAF) has fined the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 5,000 dollars for overcrowding and lack of security during the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt in Kaduna in March.

On March 29, the gates to the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, venue of the match was thrown open for football fans causing over 50, 000 spectators to cram into the 15, 000-capacity stadium.

Rising from their disciplinary board meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, the African football governing body handed down the fine, while threatening further sanctions if there was a similar incident in future games.

The game ended in a 1-1 with Mohammed Salah scoring a late equaliser for the Pharaohs.

Meanwhile, the CAF disciplinary committee has also fined Egypt’s FA 5,000 dollars because of the excessive use of lasers during the return leg fixture against Nigeria.

The incident occurred during their African Cup of Nations qualification return leg clash in Alexandria.

The Pharaohs won the game 1-0 and ended Nigeria’s hopes of a place at the next Cup of Nations in Gabon.

NFF To Appoint Super Eagles Coach In June

Super EaglesMeanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have confirmed that a permanent head coach for the Super Eagles would be in place for the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Eagles have been without a substantive coach since Sunday Oliseh resigned in February with the likes of Samson Siasia and Salisu Yusuf managing the team on temporary basis at different points.

According to the NFF Technical Committee, a technical crew led by either a local or foreign coach would be appointed after the upcoming friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in June.

Meanwhile, Salisu Yusuf is the man to lead the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the upcoming friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg.

The former Kano Pillars boss will be assisted by Enugu Rangers Coach, Imama Amapakabor, Kennedy Boboye of Abia Warriors while Alloy Agu would serve as goalkeeper trainer.

Nigeria plays Mali on May 27, before going on to face Luxembourg on June 1.

Both matches will serve as tune ups for the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Super Eagles To Miss AFCON 2017 After Egypt Loss

Super EaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria will miss the 2017 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing by a lone goal to the Pharaohs of Egypt on Monday in Alexandria.

Although, it was 0-0 at half time, the Egyptians always looked more likely to win the match having rattled the Nigerian defence on many occasions in the first half.

The Nigerians were limited to short passes, unable to convert their possession into attempts on goal.

The second half saw the Pharaohs maintaining the momentum and finally got their goal in the 65th minute.

Ramadan Sobhy shot towards the Nigerian goal and the ball rolled under goalkeeper Akpeyi’s arm thinking his defence line would clear it.

The Eagles’ introduction of Alex Iwobi failed to produce the spark seen in the reverse leg in Kaduna and the Egyptians saw out the match to seal their qualification for the AFCON.

The Eagles went into the Alexandria game in dire need of a win to give them a boost for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ticket but the resilient Pharaohs ensured that the 3-time champions miss out for the second consecutive edition.

Nigeria’s chances became slimmer following Chad’s withdrawal from the AFCON qualifiers, as Egypt topped the group, leading Nigeria with two points and Tanzania on one point.

The win has now created an insurmountable 5-point lead for Egypt as only the match against Tanzania is left to play.

Siasia Starts Moses, Umar In Super Eagles Game

SiasiaSuper Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has made three changes to his starting line-up against Egypt in Alexandra.

Victor moss and Aminu Umar start for the Super Eagles while Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho returns to the bench.

South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi will be in goal after Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who was ruled out due to illness.

Siasia will also stick with Stanley Amuzie at left back and Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi will not start despite serving out his suspension.

The coach had said ahead of the battle of supremacy against Egypt in group G of the 2017 AFCON qualifier that there is no room for complacency in Alexandria.

He insisted that this is the time the team must break the jinx of never defeating the Egyptians since 1990.

The coach added that all players were aware of this fact, stressing that whoever gets to play must fight very hard for the country.

AFCON Qualifier: Super Eagles Ready For Egypt – Siasia

Super eaglesSuper Eagles Interim Coach, Samson Siasia, says there is no room for complacency in Alexandria.

Siasia’s statement is coming as the Eagles get set to take on the Pharaohs of Egypt on Tuesday evening in a battle of supremacy in group G of the 2017 AFCON qualifier.

He insisted that this is the time the team must break the jinx of never defeating the Egyptians since 1990.

The coach added that all players are aware of this fact, stressing that whoever gets to play must fight very hard for the country.

The game has been scheduled for 5.35PM Nigerian time.

The Egyptians forced the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw first leg of the AFCON qualifier, which was played before a massive crowd of supporters inside the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, northwest Nigeria.

Following Chad’s withdrawal from the race, Egypt top the group with four points, with Nigeria second on two points and Tanzania on one point.

The Eagles go into the Alexandria game in dire need of a win to give them a boost for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ticket.

Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, has been ruled out of the match due to illness.