Former Nigerian defender Taribo West in an interview with The Punch newspaper, arrogated majority the blame for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2015 edition of the AFCON on his former international teammate, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi.
Nigeria needed a win against South Africa in Akwa Ibom to enable them qualify for the Championship holding in January but the super eagles were only able to manage a 2-2 draw hence blowing their chance of defending the crow they won in 2013. West, speaking to punch on Keshi and Nigeria’s collapse said: “Keshi let success get into his head and the result is that we won’t be defending our title in Equatorial Guinea next year, when he started, he was hungry for success, hence he went for the home-based players who were equally hungry for success, and he was not bothered by the criticism over his decisions. “He changed and began to rely on foreign-based players who are not good enough for the national team.”
Taribo who was part of the Nigerian team that won the football tournament at the Olympic games in 1996 did not exonerate the players from blame, saying “Egwuekwe let us down. He should take the blame for the first goal. He opened the right side to expose the goalkeeper I didn’t expect such a mistake from a player who has been in the national team for some time. Omeruo also committed a defensive blunder that could cost a player his career. He’s a good defender but he should have been rested for the game because he was not fit. Juwon (Oshaniwa) is a strong player but he gets confused each time he receives the ball. We need better defenders in the national team. I believe we can find good defenders in the domestic league if we search for them,” he concluded.