Former Super Eagles winger Chinedu Obasi has revealed he was asked to pay a bribe to be included in Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil.
Obasi had a good season in the 2013/2014 Bundesliga season with Schalke 04 but was excluded from the squad for his second World Cup tournament.
The former Hoffenheim striker also revealed how he sustained an injury at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa which cost him a move to the English Premier League and said he was disappointed when he was requested to pay a bribe.
”I was playing for Schalke, I was playing in the Champions League and I was doing well. Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team,” Obasi said in an Instagram Live.
“I felt like I’ve paid my dues for the country, I shouldn’t do this. If I was a young player, maybe I would have done that, but it was a bit personal for me and I felt very heartbroken. I was supposed to move from Hoffeinheim to England and I got injured playing for Nigeria at the World Cup [in South Africa].
“After that competition, nobody called me to know how I am doing. I spent a lot of money to get fit. All people talked about was the injury. They don’t care to know what I went through on a daily basis making sure I get my body in shape, to stay healthy.
“It takes a lot of dedication, money, investing in myself and my body. I went through surgery, did everything I can. Now a competition is coming up, you’re inviting me to the national team. I’ve exhausted my own money and you want me to pay, which is a slap in the face for me.
“I said I’m not comfortable doing that. They said I should know the system, and I should act like I’m a Nigerian. I said it’s not about being a Nigerian but doing the right thing.”
Nigeria were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup in the Round of 16, losing 2-0 to eventual winners, France.
The Super Eagles booked their place in the knockout phase after securing a draw with Iran and defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina in the group stage.
Chinedu Obasi said he has kept the disappointment with him since 2014.
“I’ve kept it close to my chest since 2014 because you’d have unnecessary enemies when you talk. People who played in lower leagues went to that World Cup. I’m not taking a jab at anyone,” he continued.
“If you’re good for the World Cup, then you should go, but I feel like if you have to take the best and at the time, I was playing for a top team, Schalke 04 which was among the top team in Europe at the time.
“Funny enough, after the conversation, it got a bit more personal. They told me that even if I end up going as part of the team, their own agent will negotiate that deal. I said it doesn’t sound good to me.”
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