FIFA World Youth Championship and Olympic Games silver medalist, Chinedu Obasi has revealed that not yielding to bribery and extortion cost him appearance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I was playing for Schalke, I was playing in the Champions League and I was doing well. It was a friendly game going to South Africa 2010. Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team.” Obasi told omasport.com.
“I felt like I’ve paid my dues for the country, I shouldn’t do this. If I was a young player, maybe I would have done that, but it was a bit personal for me and I felt very heartbroken. I was supposed to move from Hoffeinheim to England and I got injured playing for Nigeria at the World Cup.
“After that competition, nobody called me or contacted to know how I am doing. I spent a lot of money to get fit. All people talk about is the injury. Nobody knows what I go through on a daily basis making sure I get my body in shape.
“It takes a lot of/dedication, money, investing in myself and my body. I went through surgery, did everything I can. Now a competition is coming up, you’re inviting me to the national team. I’ve exhausted my own money and you want me to pay, which is a slap in the face for me.
“I said I’m not comfortable doing that. They said I should know the system, and I should act like I’m a Nigerian. I said it’s not about being a Nigerian but doing the right thing.”
“I’ve kept it close to my chest since 2014 because you’d have unnecessary enemies when you talk. People who played in lower leagues went to that World Cup. I’m not taking jab at anyone. If you’re good for the World Cup, then you should go, but I feel like if you have to take the best and at the time, I was playing for a top team, Schalke 04 which was among the top team in Europe at the time.
“Funny enough, after the conversation, it got a bit more personal. They told me that even if I end up going as part of the team, their own agent will negotiate that deal. I said it doesn’t sound good to me.”