Odemwingie livid at omission from Africa Cup squad


Wed, Dec 26, 2012 - Page 20

Veteran striker Peter Odemwingie launched a furious broadside at Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi over his surprise omission from the country’s Africa Cup of Nations squad for the tournament, which gets under way in South Africa next month.

The 31-year-old West Bromwich Albion star — who has appeared at four Nations Cups — accused Keshi of disrespect in not informing him personally of his decision.

“Every manager has got his own plans and tactics — if I don’t figure in your plans, please be honest to tell me directly,” Odemwingie told BBC Sport.

“For 10 years I gave my all to the country as a player on the pitch, played for the nation and fans, not individuals,” added Odemwingie, who last played for his country in February.

Odemwingie, who was born in Uzbekistan where his Nigerian-born father was playing, said that he was a marked man in Keshi and the federation’s eyes because he was too blunt in what he said about the state of Nigerian soccer.

“Because I speak out when things are not right, I guess some people are not just comfortable with that openness,” he said. “No one seeks preferential treatment, footballers are like the average people and not perfect individuals.”