By Jacob Ajom
Former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo has exonerated the players from blame over the bonus row that overshadowed Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Soon after the team qualified for the second round after the group matches, Super Eagles players embarked on a protest, refusing to train, even when the match impending against France was less than twenty four hours away.
But the former Fenerbahce of Turkey defender said those who criticise the players, calling them selfish were unfair. “ The problem is when you have agreed something with people then make it happen. At the World Cup or during bonus rows, it was not about the money for some players but the motive behind it.
“As a captain my concern was for some of the local players and youngsters, who travelled thousands of miles, sacrifice themselves on dodgy planes and gave their all on the pitch. Those of us playing in Europe for years, by the grace of God, $10,000 is not our problem but those playing at home were being deprived an incentive promised.”
Yobo is still proud of his 100 caps, the first Nigerian to achieve that feat. “ It’s amazing when you look back and see how far you’ve come. I think I probably didn’t realise how important it was until I quit international football. I think it’s a great achievement.”
He is not envious of Vincent Enyeama, his long time former assistant who, with 99 caps is threatening his record. “I am very happy for Enyeama, congratulations to him. He’s a great goalkeeper. He has his time. We took a different route. He had to start from the bench, coming off and fighting for his place before he became a super regular. I started and just continued. We started about the same time so I’m very happy that he’s matching the record and I hope he can break all the records because he deserves it.”