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Osimhen: An unnecessary outburst

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From Victor Moses To Victor Osimhen, Super Eagles Hope For Another Victorious Ending To Afcon Group Stage  -

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Nigeria’s current most celebrated striker, Victor Osimhen this Saturday hit the headlines for a wrong reason. He had a live video post on his social media handles and poured invectives on Finidi George, the erstwhile Super Eagles’ coach.

No matter the course he was attempting to crusade, he got it all wrong. He did not present himself as the model footballer for aspiring stars to look up.

No matter what Finidi George must have spoken against him, going to the social media to vent his anger and using foul languages are the least expected of a player of his standing and an African Footballer of the Year award holder.

Had it been his club coach, he would not have reacted the same way he has done now. If he does, he is aware of the consequences. Stars have been known to lose corporate endorsments owing to out of field attitudes and utterances.

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A star player must be model who distinguishes himself in action and in character.

Coaches in the past have spoken one or two bad things about their players. But such players employed decent ways to express their displeasure.

Take for instance, when Mourinho’s views about the ages of African players escaped into the public domain and he particularly pointed at Samuel Eto’s who was then in Chelsea.

 Mourinho then was secretly recorded questioning age of Samuel Eto’o: ‘He is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?

Mourinho was preparing to speak to Canal Plus when he was filmed speaking to a Swiss businessman during a recent sponsor’s event, with the recording being made public on Monday.

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As weighty as that could be, Eto’o reacted by saying: “And you may have noticed that the old man was better than the youngsters. Some believe I am going to retire in the United States or in the Middle East, but I have regained the joy of the Champions League and I am going to carry on playing in the Champions League.

He showed he had no hard feelings to Jose Mourinho over the Chelsea’s boss’s jibes about his age with a goal celebration mocking his ‘old-man’ status.

The Cameroon striker looked like a teenager as he raced on to to put Chelsea ahead against Spurs in the 56th minute of their 4-0 win And his goal celebration — walking like a hunched old man to lean on a corner flag, feeling his back — brought a smile to his team-mates and Mourinho.

He has made his point known. Osimhen would not have openly insulted any of his coaches in Europe.

What is wrong is wrong, no mater the status of the player. Osimhen needs to grow up and should be asked to offer apologies . It is Finidi George today as a national coach.

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That position has been disrespected and desecrated by the player’s outburst. Tomorrow, the NFF president or even the sports minister could be the next target. Other players too, might take a cue from what Osimhen has done. Enough of this nonsense.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

OPINION

Onome and Ordega missing as Waldrum rolls out his Paris 2024 Super Falcons Army

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Super Falcons down two places but retain continental lead

Contrary to wide spread allegations that the duo of Onome Ebi and  Francisca Ordega were being smuggled into the Paris 2024-bounf Super Falcons, neither of the two make the final squad that has just being named. Head Coach Randy Waldrum has picked captain Rasheedat Ajibade, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, forward Asisat Oshoala and 14 other players in his final list of Nigeria’s Super Falcons for this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in France.

There are also defenders Oluwatosin Demehin and Michelle Alozie, midfielders Deborah Abiodun, Halimatu Ayinde, Christy Ucheibe and Toni Payne, and forwards Esther Okoronkwo, Chinwendu Ihezuo and Uchenna Kanu.

Squad members who are currently on holidays in Nigeria will join home-based players and team officials aboard an Air France flight from Abuja to Sevilla, Spain on Thursday night, with the rest of the playing body and technical team also arriving in Sevilla on Friday for a two-week training camp.

Spain, where the team will be camped, is one of the group stage opponents of the Super Falcons.

The team is scheduled to depart Sevilla for France on Thursday, 18th July.

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Nine-time African champions Nigeria, who are making their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time since 2008 in China, will tackle Brazil, Spain and Japan, in that order, at this year’s tournament.

To qualify for the 12-team tournament, the Falcons edged South Africa’s Banyana Banyana 1-0, with a strike from the penalty spot in Abuja by Ajibade separating Africa’s top two teams over two legs in the month of April.

Their first game, against Brazil, comes up at the Stade Bordeaux on 25th July, before confrontations with Spain (28th July) and Japan (31st July). The matches against Spain and Japan will hold at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes, where the Super Eagles famously defeated tournament favourites Spain 3-2 in a memorable game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals.

SUPER FALCONS FOR PARIS 2024 OLYMPICS:

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia)

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Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Nicole Payne (Portland Thorns FC, USA); Chidinma Okeke (Mynavi Sendai Ladies, Japan) 

Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun (University of Pittsburgh, USA); Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jennifer Echegini (Juventus Ladies, Italy); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain) 

Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Changchun FC, China); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Chinonyerem Macleans (Locomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Alternate Players: Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Ifeoma Onumonu (Utah Royals, USA); Gift Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Morufa Ademola (Rivers Angels)  

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