Vanguard (Lagos)

29 December 2012

Nigeria: Odemwingie's Outburst Unprofessional - Iroha

Former Super Eagles' defender, Benedict Iroha has joined the train of former players who have backed the decision of the senior national team coach, Stephen Keshi to omit Peter Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins and Taye Taiwo from the preliminary squad of the team to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Iroha was one of the heroes of the 1994 Afcon tournament in Tunisia, where the Eagles came out tops and incidentally that was the last time Nigeria has won the competition.

Iroha told Goal.com that since Keshi calls the shots, he has the right to select players that he felt would figure in his programme knowing fully well he would be judged by the results garnered in South Africa in January.

He expressed dismay at the Twitter outburst of Odemwingie whom he reckoned threw caution to the wind as he failed to come to terms with his omission from the 2013 Afcon party.

"Keshi is the boss and he calls the shots," Iroha told Goal.com.

"It doesn't make much sense criticising the team list endorsed by him. He knows the importance of going to the Africa Cup of Nations with established players and for him to have dropped Odemwingie and the like shows he means business.

"The outburst of Odemwingie on the heels of his omission from the team list showed his level of maturity and the impact he would have had on the dressing room if he had made the squad.

"He didn't exhibit the quality of a professional. He showed a bad example to upcoming footb-allers," Iroha added.

The Imo born former Eagles' Assistant Coach got a crucial goal in the semi-final of Tunisia 1994 Afcon against Cote d'Ivoire en-route to Nigeria's second triumph in Africa's biggest soccer fiesta.

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