Former media officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, has debunked claims by Chinedu Obasi that he was asked to pay bribe to make the squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Obasi, who did not name the official that asked him for money, said he refused paying the bribe because he didn’t feel comfortable doing it and was thus excluded from the World Cup squad.
Reacting to the allegations, Alaiya, who was the team’s spokesman, asked the ex-Eagles star to name those who demanded money from him to make the squad.
“Let’s drop this foolery. Obasi was dropped because he had a knee injury. I was the (Eagles) media officer then. Let him name those who demanded bribe from an injured player. My name is Ben Alaiya and I hate cheap blackmail,” Alaiya stated on a WhatsApp platform NSM.
He added, “Apart from the Big Boss (then coach of the Eagles Stephen Keshi), all of us are alive to answer him. Even (Joseph) Yobo as captain was almost dropped because of the same knee issue.
“That’s why I asked him (Obasi) to name names, the Big Boss Keshi I know will never do that. He always told the players that he was richer than any of them and none could bribe him with gift or money. Repeat, Yobo was almost dropped for both the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and Brazil 2014 (World Cup) for injury reasons. Ask him (Yobo), at least he’s now an assistant coach with the same team
“I was never the coach but the Keshi I knew picked his team under the supervision of the NFF.
Controversies trailed the Eagles squad to the 2014 World Cup after players like Elderson Echiejile, Ikechukwu Uche and Sunday Mba were dropped from the side.
The Eagles crashed out in the Round of 16 after losing 2-0 to France.
Credit to Tosin Oluwalowo