Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi has revealed he dropped Villarreal’s Ikechukwu Uche from his squad last month due to the player’s attitude.
Keshi had selected Uche for the AFCON qualifiers against Congo and South Africa, but was later forced to leave him out after the player questioned why he needed a visa to visit South Africa.
“Before the Congo game I did the list and Uche’s name was on it. He didn’t even know about it and four days later we spoke like brothers and that was it,” said Keshi in comments published by africafootball.com.
“My secretary Davo Enebi then called the players asking if they had a South African visa. He called Uche and asked him, to which he replied ‘why are you asking me, what do you need that for?’
“Uche said he needed someone to talk to him about something. They said he was a bad kid, he did something wrong, but if not….Anyway, I said take his name out.
“I’m not going to beg Uche and will not ask [assistant Coach] Daniel [Amokachi] to beg him. What for?
“We all played for this country for 20-odd years and nobody begged us to play. It was us who were begging to play,” he insisted.
The controversy surrounding Uche’s non-inclusion appeared to have got to Keshi, who was later advised he should not raise the subject again.
“Why is it only Uche? Obafemi Martins was also there but he is not saying anything. So why do you guys [reporters] want to tear this team apart?
“Please let this be the end of the matter. Don’t ask me about Uche again. This is the last time I’ll speak about him,” he concluded.