It was heartwarming during the week to hear that Samson Siasia and his estranged boy, Osaze Odemwingie, have buried the hatchet. This is not the only heartwarming news in the week. There was the news of the Globacom signing N1.8 billion sponsorship contract with the 'illegal' Nigeria Football Federation, even if the head of the interim board of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Tenebe, has advised the mobile telecommunication giant from associating with an illegal body. There was the appointment of a new sports minister, in the person of Yusuf Suleiman, during the week.
Of all the heartwarming news, it is the settlement of the rift between Siasia and Osaze that made me happier. This is because this is one issue that has generated many write-ups. There are many who will ask what is the big deal? It is not as if without Osaze, the Super Eagles will become a lame duck, after all without him Eagles defeated Argentina 4-1. But there is a Yoruba adage that says "a bad boy has his own good day." This presupposes that a time will come when that child you think is of no value might be your saving grace.
So, I think we all must be happy that the Super Eagles is now a one happy family with all the players and the coaches having only one agenda for the team, winning and winning only.
To give credence to the fact that there is no more war, Siasia said during the week: "No problem again, we are now on the same page and things can now move ahead in the best interest of Nigerian football. I like to say that Osaze is one player I like very much due to his enthusiasm and total commitment to the cause on-field."
Osaze himself said: "As soon as we spoke, it was clear that it was all a misunderstanding. He (Siasia) wants the best for Super Eagles, and that is the same thing I want And I believe we can work all work together to achieve it."
Even aside the above, there is no price that is too much to pay for peace. This is because some players will queue behind Osaze and they could be saboteurs in the team just to get back at the coach. Siasia also needs to know that much is achieved when all are happy than when some are nursing grudges.
But I also believe that the path taken by the coach was a good one, at least proving to Osaze and his likes that no single individual is bigger than the Super Eagles. In short, no player is indispensable.
Any other player desirous of taking the path that Osaze took will have a re-think realising that Siasia will not spare any one, and that he (Siasia) will have no moral justification not to discipline any one, since Osaze was punished.
I am happy that Siasia allowed reason to prevail by forgiving the player. Let us give the coach kudos for realising that punishment is meant to correct and not to destroy. The coach should be given the kudos for his fatherly figure, for tempering justice with mercy and for proving that he is not just a coach to the players but also a role model to them.
Osaze should also be given a pat on the back for apologising, at least allowing reason to prevail. I advised Osaze in one of my columns on the need for him to apologise, this he has done. I said in that column that Osaze must imbibe the spirit of humility. Humility is not stupidity. Pride they say comes before fall. I am sure he must be regretting missing the Argentina friendly, because those who played were happy for being part of history.
"But, to reach higher heights as a great player and person, it is also important to observe rules and regulations and respect teammates and other persons off-field," advised Siasia. Osaze should dwell much on this advice given by Siasia, who had passed through the same route that Osaze finds himself today. It is imperative for him to know that no one succeeds in life without discipline.
Osaze attributed the rift to misunderstanding and communication breakdown. As a guard against future recurrence, there should be unhindered communication between the players and the coaching crew.