The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that it spent huge sums of money to pacify Kaduna soccer fans who had planned to attack Super Eagles captain and goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama before the team's 2017 AFCON qualifier against Chad two weeks ago.
Before the match, the goalkeeper was quoted as saying the city of Kaduna was not safe to host the Super Eagles and the statement did not go down well with the fans.
Although the captain was said to have retracted his statement, it had already incited the fans against him and the NFF said it had to intervene to save the Lille of France goalkeeper from the aggrieved football fans.
Disclosing this in a chat with Daily Trust yesterday, the General Secretary of the NFF, Dr. Muhammed Sanusi said the federation had to spend a lot of money to pacify the fans who had already printed banners to protest against Enyeama and also stone him.
He said the fans were angry because they perceived the goalkeeper's statement as tribalistic and show of ingratitude to the people of the state who have always supported the Super Eagles.
"We spent a lot of money to pacify the youths who wanted to carry protest placards against him. They even wanted to stone him.
"They perceived that he was being tribalistic. So we tried to make them understand that it wasn't so," he said.
Sanusi added that Enyeama's comment was unprofessional and unethical and shouldn't have come from a leader.
He therefore said despite his enormous contributions to the senior national team, the NFF will not treat with levity Enyeama's case which he said is already before the disciplinary committee of the federation.
"No doubt Enyeama has paid his dues as far as football is concerned. Nobody can take that away from him. But we can not also take away the fact that we need to build discipline.
"We have never had any problem with Kaduna centre so for him to make that statement was unprofessional and unethical.
"For somebody who is a leader to come out and make such statement was wrong. When you occupy leadership position, you must be mindful of what you say".
Sanusi also said the match against Chad was taken to Kaduna based on the request from Coach Stephen Keshi who said he has never failed in Kaduna.