- Yobo, Enyeama, Odemwingie to give way for younger players
Stephen Keshi has stepped down as Super Eagles coach after the team’s exit from the World Cup in Brazil.
Some of the Nigerian players who took part in the 0-2 loss to the French national team, Les Bleus, have also announced plan to give chance to younger ones in the squad.
Asked after the match if he was staying on as coach, Keshi replied, “I don’t know.”
He later wrote on his twitter handle @OfficialKeshi: “Friends, it has been a good run and I have enjoyed every moment. It’s been an honour coaching the Super Eagles. It is however time to bow out.”
The players calling time on their national assignment are Vincent Enyeama, Joseph Yobo and Osaze Odemwingie.
In separate interviews at the mix zone, they said they have had their time and would want to concentrate on club football.
“I am confident I should go now,” Odemwingie said, noting that he had no bad feelings.
“I am happy we played well but lost. I am not too sure now weather to wish we played badly and win or the other way round.
“Whatever the case, I am happy I am leaving the team in the hands of capable upcoming juniors. They should be held together for a long time.
“For me I am not getting younger, I need to get home and evaluate what plans I have for the future.”
In response to the fact that he was still young, the Stoke City striker said “that is why I was not conclusive. But to tell you, I will like to face club action.
“I still have three years left in my contract. I will like to stick with the club. I am not discussing any moves. I am happy at my club.
“For me, I have had a fulfilled time with the national team. I have enjoyed every moment of it. I need to quit now.
“The upcoming players in the team are good. They need all the chance. I just have to go,’’ he said.
Enyeama then, apologised to Nigerians for the failure of the team to have won.
“I want you all to forgive us. You have all done well to support us to this stage.”
Yobo no doubt made history by reaching the 100th cap mark in the national team, indeed the first Nigerian to have accomplished it.
However, he scored an own goal in the 90th minute — a not so impressive record on a special day in his national team career.
He told BBC Sport it was a sad but glorious end to his own international career as Nigeria failed to make their first ever quarter-finals.
“This is it. I can look back on my career with great pride,” he said.
“It’s time to give a chance to other people to come through. Our football has a bright future and I am confident this team can achieve success sooner rather than later.”