NIGERIAN football fans have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to former Super Eagles captain Vincent Enyeama and West Ham striker Emmanuel Emenike about returning to the national team.
Last year, both Enyeama and Emenike retired from international football after falling out with former head coach Sunday Oliseh. However, last month, Oliseh resigned after disagreements with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and U23 coach Samson Siasia has been placed in temporary charge of the team with this month’s African Nations Cup qualifiers against Egypt.
Since taking over, Siasia has pleaded with both Enyeama and Emenike to return to the Eagles but both players have made it clear they are not interested in coming back. Siasia will thus prosecute the March 25 game at home in Kaduna and the away leg away in Alexandria on the 29th without the duo.
Over the long term though, fans wants President Buhari to weigh in and get both players to return for the remaining of the Nations Cup qualifiers and the 2018 World Cup campaign. Alhaji Aminu Kurfi, the senior special assistant to the Katsina State governor on sports, said everything should be done by those concerned to bring back the pair to the fold of the national team.
He added: “There is no question about the need for Enyeama and Emenike to return to the team. We need them in the team and if it means that Mr President should call them over the phone, he must do that to ensure that they return to national team.
“Also, the minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalung, should approach them in their clubs and make them see the need to return to the national team. I don’t think anything should be too much for us to do, as far as bringing back the players is concerned.”
He added that he would buy flight tickets for two or three people to follow him to Europe and beg both players on behalf of Nigerians to return to the national team. Alhaji Kurfi, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria National League side, Katsina United, said the NFF should give Siasia all the necessary support he needs to prosecute the double-leg qualifiers against the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Already, the NFF has announced that fans who want to attend the game at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna will have to pay N1,000 (£3.50) and N300 for covered seats and popular stands respectively. NFF marketing officials said the prices remain unchanged from the Super Eagles game against Chad, which was played at the same venue in June last year.