When the 23-man squad for Nigeria’s Super Eagles to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was released, a lot of football fans had mixed feelings as there were some questionable omissions and inclusions.
One of those who almost made the list was 2005 World Youth Championship finalist, Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi who scored Nigeria’s sole goal in the final as Messi’s Argentina ran away 2-1 winners.
Obasi has now revealed events that led to him missing out on what would have been his second senior World Cup final. In a recent chat on Instagram Live, Obasi disclosed that his failure to part with money resulted in his omission from the final squad for the trip to Brazil.
The striker who was at the top of his game at the time with German Bundesliga side, Schalke 04 said he felt heartbroken when he was dropped because he failed to give those in charge money.
He said: ”Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team. 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 playing for Schalke, I was playing in the Champions League and I was doing well.
“I was supposed to move from Hoffenheim 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.”
Obasi last played for Nigeria in a 3-1 international friendly loss to Argentina in 2011.