A top official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has laid the dismal performance of the Super Eagles in last Sunday’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations against Guinea in Conakry to poor attitude off the pitch by MichaelEneramo and Joseph Yobo.
An angry Assistant General Secretary, Technical of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), James Peters, raised an alarm that some players led by team captain, Joseph Yobo, took carbonated soft drinks on match-day.
“I saw the players before our match drink (carbonated) soft drinks, and I confronted the medical doctor vehemently about it. I told him that it was not good for dehydration.
But he said that Yobo said the players can drink,” Peters said in a radio interview on Wednesday.
Super Eagles’ team doctor, Ibrahim Abubakar, however, explained how events unfolded a night before the match but he did not mention the names of the alleged players fingered in the carbonated drink matter.
“The truth is that the man (Peters) you’re talking about I have so much respect for due to his technical knowledge.
But I must say that when he confronted me about the issue it was a day before the match. The players never took soft drinks on the day of the match (against Guinea). Personally for me, I don’t see anything wrong with the players taking such drinks a day before a game provided the coach agrees with that, which I spoke to the coach about anyway.
“But my procedure is that on the day of a match, I don’t allow any player take carbonated drinks.
The reason is because carbonated drinks make their stomach bloated and it can cause a lot of trouble while running during the game. So I allowed them take the drink on that day because I have no scientific issues about it, and even Fifa supplies soft drinks during major competitions.
“I also told them that night (before the match last Sunday) that they should take lots of water with the carbonated drinks because it will be beneficial to them because they are like the normal energy drinks we take provided they (the carbonated drinks) are diluted with water. Each of these players had 1.5 litres of water with them. So I don’t think that caused any problem during the match,” the team doctor defended.
In the case of Esperance of Tunisia striker, Eneramo, the NFF Assistant General Secretary, Technical accused him of causing a two-hour delay in the flight of the team for the Guinea game.
“A situation whereby we are going for a game and a player would forget his boots in the hotel. We got to the airport and the player said he forgot his boots and bag in the hotel. That shows no sign of seriousness on the part of such a player. We had to wait for this player and the delay took out two hours of our time and we arrived late (in Conakry). And I should tell you that the player that did this was Eneramo,” fumed the former Nigerian Under23 coach.