Ghanaian publication puts question marks on Onazi’s recall to Super Eagles
Facts are beginning to emerge on how some players got into the Super Eagles’ list through the ‘backdoor’ ahead of the crucial Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Ghana.
The provisional squad released by Technical Adviser, Augustine Eguavoen, last week, was greeted with mixed reaction, with some football analysts accusing Eguavoen of giving some of the invitees ‘undue’ favour.
However, what appears a clearer picture may have emerged, yesterday, through a Ghanaian publication, Ghanasoccernet.
According to Ghanasoccernet, Augustine Eguavoen, revealed that he did not make the decision to recall Onazi to the squad that will play against the Black Stars of Ghana in the final qualifying matches for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The publication alleges that Eguavoen remarked that Onazi’s invitation for the crucial 2022 World Cup playoff against Ghana was to ‘pacify everybody’.
Eguavoen astonishingly revealed that the technical team was not even aware of the form of the Saudi Arabia-based player (Onazi) even though he is part of the 32-man team he named for the two-legged matches.
His claims, reports Ghanasoccernet, suggest that Onazi was imposed on him by persons he did not name, even though the technical team was not keen on calling the Al-Adalah FC midfielder. Onazi is among the seven players on standby list for Super Eagles 32-man team for playoff.
However, his recall has caused massive controversy in Nigeria leaving many Super Eagles’ supporters stunned.Eguavoen has added more fuel to the fire by revealing that he was not the one who made the decision to invite the player.
“Onazi, good player. Whether he’s still good and can play at that level, we don’t know,” coach Eguavoen was quoted to have said, indicating that he did not even monitor the player for the call-up.
“But that’s why I said to pacify everybody, to ensure there’s harmony here, put him on the standby. While he’s on the standby, I have the final say,” Eguavoen said.
The Super Eagles coach’s revelation shows that people within the federation have been interfering with his call-ups to the national team.
The Super Eagles will travel to Cape Coast, Ghana, to face the Black Stars on March 25, with the return leg billed for March 29 at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.