Former Super Eagles Sunday Oliseh has again given more details that led to his sudden resignation as the senior national team gaffer.
It will be recalled that he took to his official Twitter handle in the wee hours of Friday, February 27, to announce his resignation citing unpaid salaries, lack of cooperation, among other factors, as reasons responsible for his action.
But speaking in a Skype interview on Soccer Africa, a sport show on Super Sport 4, yesterday, March 3, Oliseh admitted that he resigned as coach of the Super Eagles because he wants to live long.
He said: “It’s been the greatest honour for me to have coached Nigeria. Not too many will get the chance to play for their country, to captain it and to coach. So, I thank God for this but the problem was I just couldn’t cope any longer. I want to live long.”
Recounting events that led to his resignation, Oliseh said: “For over a month, have been trying to get some help as regards to next important thing for the nation but I was getting just little support. It became frustrating at a point, coupled with the fact that my assistant coach was really struggling and stranded in Togo as he was trying to get himself some treatment after he was operated in Pretoria, he almost died there.
“It was getting really difficult and I was getting tired. But what I did was that I wrote a letter to the federation of a legal binding to meet up with their responsibilities and I gave them a deadline which was February 25. But when I didn’t get a reply by February 25, I spoke to my family, my friends and I decided it was time to let it be.”
The former coach of Super Eagles Sunday Oliseh has spoken about the events that led to his resignation and how he was begged not to leave.
On allegations that he was paid N20m by the NFF before he resigned, and how true the reports that he spent $4000 to feed his players at CHAN are, Oliseh said: “Before CHAN, I was sick and so I decided to take some money with me because I was scared that if anything happens to me, I should be able to put myself in a flight for treatment. That was why I had cash on me in the first place and I think it was desperate at that time and my players needed it.
“There was so much character assassination on me from the federation and it got to a point that they started telling the world that I have been paid my wages and that I had insulted the whole Nigerians calling them insane. The federation even sent out publication to media houses about me and I got to know after one of the media houses sent them to me. So I asked my lawyers about charges and so we decided to give them time to retract those statements, otherwise we will seek redress. I have worked very hard to get what I have and God has blessed me so much. So I don’t deserve all these character assassination because I decided to resign.”
On reports that the NFF was trying to poach ex-Ivory coast coach Herve Rernard or Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic while he was still coach of the Super Eagles, Oliseh had this to say: “Yes I heard rumours and one of them was quite authentic but I’m not going to reveal his identity. He’s a top manager here in Europe and back home we were winning games but there was this belief that we were not winning enough. You have to beat team like Niger and Swaziland like 5 nil. So they wanted a coach who can give them this.”
On beliefs that his resignation on Twitter was unprofessional, Oliseh said: “Before I put in my resignation letter, as sign of respect to the Nigeria government, I called first the sport minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung. I told him that I couldn’t continue as coach of the Super Eagles anymore and he was very saddened about it as he tried to talk to me to have a change of mind. So it was after he was okay with it, I sent in my resignation letter and also on social media.
“The president and vice president of the NFF then called me after I had sent my resignation letter. We spoke till like 2am in the morning and they were trying to convince me to have a change of mind but I said no to that. I told them it was a decision I had taken with my family.
“I knew coaching Nigeria was going to be difficult before I took the job because I heard there were going to be problems coming from the technical committee, and some section of the press. So what I did was, I tried to put in so many clauses in the contract that could allow us to work peacefully. But even though these clauses were written in the contract, they were all violated. The violation got to the point that they wanted to start dictating the pace and that was when I came to the conclusion that I had to leave.”
Meanwhile, a top official of the NFF has disclosed to Naij.com sports in Abuja that Oliseh’s car has been seized by the federation after his resignation. And in a swift move, the NFF reconstituted the coaching crew by bringing in Samson Siasia as interim coach of the Super Eagles. The Bayelsa-born ex-player named his first squad as Super Eagles coach yesterday, March 3 ahead of the double header against power house Egypt on March 25 and 29.