By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has revealed that he was forced to drop Ike Uche from the Super Eagles 2015 AFCON qualifiers against Congo and South Africa in September because of the attitude of the Villarreal striker.
Keshi revealed at a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday that Uche was originally on his list of call-ups for matches against Congo and South Africa but was later forced to drop him after the player questioned why he would need a visa to South Africa.
There have been calls for Keshi to recall the skilful forward to the Nigerian national team despite the issues between both parties in the past.
Keshi has however stated that he actually put the name of Uche on his squad list for the two games against Congo and South Africa but was forced to remove his name due to the player’s indiscretion.
“Before the game against Congo, I did the list. Ike Uche’s name was on the list. He didn’t even know about it.
“Uche called me like four days later, and we spoke like brothers and that was it,” revealed Keshi.
“The next time my secretary Dayo Enebi called the players asking them if they had South African visa. He called Uche and asked him and Uche said ‘why are you asking me, what do you need that for?”
“Uche said he needed somebody to talk to him about something: that they said he was a bad kid. He did something wrong, if not… I said take his name out.
Keshi who left out the once prolific striker out of the Nigeria team from his 2014 World Cup team reiterated that he will not beg the player to represent his country.
“I am not going to beg Uche and I will not ask (assistant coach) Daniel (Amokachi) to beg Uche, for what?
“We all played for this country for 20-something years. Nobody begged us to play. We were begging to play.
“Why is it only Ike Uche? Obafemi Martins is also there, he is not saying anything.”
Keshi aparently disgusted by the frequent questions by the sports journalists over his relationship with Uche, warned that he will not respond to questions about the striker anymore.
“So, why do you guys (reporters) want to tear this team apart? Please let it be the end today. Don’t ask me about Uche. Please nobody should ask me about Uche again,” said a very furious Keshi.
“This is the last time I will speak about Ike Uche. And I do not want anybody to ask me about Ike Uche again,” the one-time Strasbourg of France defender stressed.
The Eagles are expected to depart Abuja on Thursday for Obdurman on a chattered flight ahead of the game on Saturday against Sudan.