Former Nigeria international and current NFF technical director, Austin Eguavoen, has reacted to criticism making the rounds over the 25-man home-based squad selected for next month’s friendly against Mexico.
Following the unveiling of the names of the 25 home-based players shortlisted for the friendly in the United States, the inclusion and omission of certain players was questioned in different quarters.
But Eguavoen, who will be in charge of the home-based Eagles for the friendly, explained the criteria for the selection of players for the game.
“It was a bit difficult (assembling the team),” the former coach told Super Eagles media. “Information came a bit late even at that it’s our country. I’ve been to few league games, the NPFL, NNL and even the NNLO, we penciled down whole lot of players and I also had to rely on information from coaches that I know in the league.
“It wasn’t that easy because I have seen a lot of criticism in the pages of newspapers, electronic media as well but it’s all okay. The only thing is that people have to do their research first before they speak. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, it’s not a problem at all.
“Like I said before, Coach Paul (Aigbogun) saw some games on the continent and the league as well and I relied also a lot on my colleagues that are also in the league.
“When you give me a player from Enyimba, I ask Stanley Eguma, Ladan Bosso, Salisu and Maikaba. And if three out of the four speak well of a player it is okay. When you give me a player from Plateau I deviate from Maikaba and ask other coaches and they say the right thing about the player I just felt that’s the right way to go about it.”
He continued: “Everybody can’t be invited and my apologies for that. This is the first game, other games will come I might not be the next coach. If we have left some players out they shouldn’t feel so bad. And before people do or say something they should do there research.
“We submitted 35 names but we needed to cut it down because of the process of getting visa. American embassy wanted certain number of players to be submitted at a certain date. So it was a bit difficult.
“However, there are still more games to come and everybody will have their opportunity.”