Thursday, January 28, 2016 1:21 pm
Nigeria, who won bronze medal in the tournament in the last edition held in South Africa, crashed out in the group stage after winning one match against Niger, drew against Tunisia and lost to Syli Nationale of Guinea.
Giving graphic details of how his team made it from pre tournament preparation to CHAN proper in Rwanda, Oliseh lamented during an interview on a Lagos Sports radio Thursday that he literarily took ‘a car with an empty tank’ to the African Championship.
According to him, his players were not properly motivated going to an international tournament that required all necessary support morally, psychologically and financially.
“It’s so sad that we came out so early in a tournament we thought we would make good impact.
“I have to commend my players for the performance they put up in Rwanda. I must do this because I knew what we went through during our preparation which was nothing to write home about.
“At a stage during our camping in South Africa, I was forced to cough out my $4000 to pay for the feeding of my players.
” How could a set of adult Nigerians, who have families back home, be working for like 50 days without proper motivation? and now they will be going home with no money to buy coca cola drinks for themselves. This is so sad.
“The situation was unbearable for us going into CHAN. We waited for financial aid promised by officials which did not come till now.
” I’m so sad that the players are going back home without any money to give their families even $10,” Oliseh lamented.
The coach said he didn’t think of abandoning the team in the face of all the challenges in camp, saying that he decided to stay on for the sake of the country.
“At a stage I used my own personal money to get things going in the team. But we must change this attitude and learn how to motivate our players as we have big works ahead of us this year.”
Chief Coach Oliseh, however, said that despite early ouster from CHAN, there are some positives which the nation can take from this competition.
“President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick can testify that we were able to discover at least nine to ten players that we will bring on board to the main Super Eagles as we prepare for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup qualifiers.”
Oliseh praised NFF President, Pinnick for his timely response when his Belgian assistant was sick in South Africa, saying “I will forever be grateful to him.”
Oliseh disclosed that he won’t return to Nigeria with the team on Thursday as he has to sort out his health issue in Belgium which is very important to him now.
He recalled how he contacted the illness through virus infection in Port Harcourt, River State, adding that he just has to thank God for giving him speedy recovery from the ailment.