An apologetic Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita has given more details leading to the incident that got him to see red and invariably cost the Super Eagles three precious points at the World Cup.
Kaita was sent off in the 33rd minute in his teamâ€™s surprise 2-1 loss to Greece in a Group B match on Thursday after he appeared to lunge at Vasileios Torosidis with a foot in a touchline scuffle.
The sending off proved to be the turning point of the game as Greece soon drew level before grabbing a winner for their first-ever World Cup victory.
â€œThe guy (the Greece player) hit the ball on my body (stomach) and abused me, saying some very unprintable things. That really got me very angry. That is why I reacted like that to him. But that was a big mistake by me and I will remember for a long time,â€ Kaita said.
â€œI cannot stop apologising to all Nigerians for making this costly mistake. I am very sorry and I pray that we win our next game (against South Korea) to qualify for the next round, where I hope to redeem my image with a good performance if Iâ€™m picked,â€ he added.
â€œI couldnâ€™t sleep all night thinking about what my action has cost my country, but I hope that Insa Allah (by the grace of God) we will win our next game and thereafter I promise to put my life down on the pitch to ensure we go very far in this competition.â€
The former Sparta Rotterdam ace therefore called on Nigerians not to give up on the Eagles, but rather support the team for Tuesdayâ€™s match against South Korea in Durban.
â€œThe mood in camp is really high. They have accepted my apology and they are now desperate to win our next game for me so that we could move to the second round of the competition,â€ he offered.
â€œWe still need the support and prayers of Nigerians for us to get the qualification ticket to the next round. Nigerians would see a different Sani Kaita Insa Allah when we qualify.
â€œAnd I promise that what happened yesterday will never happen again.â€