Ex-Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has once again made startling revelations about his time in charge of the team.
Oliseh resigned in February after only months in charge, citing poor working conditions and unpaid entitlements.
The former Nigeria captain used his blog, SundayOliseh.tv to reveal more details about his experience working with the Nigeria Football Federation, his relationship with senior players like Vimcent Enyeama and Mikel Obi, and his disagreement with the technical committee and how he almost died from the stress of working with the NFF.
In a long piece titled “My Recent Near Death Experience As Coach Of Nigeria, Oliseh held nothing back, even criticising the Nigerian media’s coverage of his time in charge of the Super Eagles.
“One day whilst coaching the super Eagles in Abuja stadium prior to the Burkina Faso game I all of a sudden felt dizziness, light headedness, headache and could barely stand,” Oliseh narrated. “I managed to finish the session before calling on the doctor into my room who was clueless to what was happening.
“From then on it was sleepless nights, loss of appetite, high blood pressure and before I knew it I started losing weight.
“After several visits to doctors abroad nothing was found though the doctors found anomalies they couldn’t pin point the actual illness to.
“Prior to the away trip to Burkina Faso for the final CHAN qualifier game in Port Harcourt after lunch I was struck with the worst feat of this illness again. Could not walk, talk, dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out.
“I quickly demanded to be rushed to the airport and with the evening flight travelled to Germany to see specialists .After 2 days of nonstop tests I was diagnosed to have narrowly escaped a total collapse in Nigeria.
“For weeks I was bed ridden, lost 7 kilos and could barely walk 5 metres without sitting down. My family was petrified and all feared the worst. One thing was for sure though: had I not taking that evening flight to Germany when I did, there was a strong possibility of a far worse outcome. Thank God for his mercies.
“All through the last 4 months of my tenure as coach I was far from my complete healthy self and coached the team and stayed in my bedroom. Often on my bed or sofa.
“Imagine how betrayed and pained I must have felt with the lack of support at these life threatening times from my employers the NFF and the shady pressmen who made it a duty not to report the gravity of the illnesses that befell me and my assistant to the Nigerian people and kind of like wished us the worst!
“On the day I put in my resignation letter I was still far from my best health wise and I guess it is better staying alive than getting embroiled with these people who have no interest of Nigeria at heart.”
Oliseh added: “A day after the Late Stephen Keshi was relieved of his duties as coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, I got a phone call from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) offering me the job which I immediately rejected. The call lasted just 2 minutes!
“I was to further refuse the offer twice again in the next 2 days that followed as they kept on calling. Their argument: With the new president Muhammadu Buhari in place, the Nff was ready for a change and was abandoning their old ‘Shady’ ways!
“It took the intervention of a phone call from a highly ranked federal government official for me to budge. His point was simple “your country is in dire need of your services and the NFF promised me a change, put your terms in writing and if they do not accept it, let them go elsewhere”.
“Which is what I did and we all eventually signed a working agreement. Thus began the adventure to coach the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Sometimes I wish I stood my grounds and refused their offer, but I guess the urge to help my country was just too much to ignore.”
Oliseh, who once released a video to explain his falling out with the NFF, then narrated how he and Enyeama, Mikel and Victor Moses got off on the wrong foot.
He wrote: “My first official act was to call the team Captain Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France) to rub minds and fix an appointment to see him. Same act was accorded to John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses of Chelsea. All except for Obi Mikel picked up my call and Mikel even ignored my eventual sms.
“Spent a lovely day at Lille with Enyeama, took him to lunch and shared my Philosophy with him and he seemed genuinely inspired to work together but kept on talking about pending retirement which we agreed he would shelve aside till after AFCON 2017 at least.
“Went to London to see Mikel & Moses but could only see Moses as Mikel did not reply my calls & we could not get a hold of him.
“Moses came 2 ½ half hours late to our meeting but none the less we had a productive talk in company of my assistant, Jean Francois Losciuto.
“Three weeks to my first official game in charge of the Super Eagles, vs Tanzania, and the invitations were sent out to the clubs, 2 weeks to the game Victor Moses opted out citing fear of contracting an injury whilst playing for Nigeria in favour of his club via a written letter to the Team manager of the super eagles.
“Most players reported to camp on Monday prior to the Tanzania game, Vincent Enyeama was supposed to fly in Tuesday Morning, only for me to be surprisingly informed via sms that he was skipping the game because he lost the mum some weeks earlier.
“I called him up and made an agreement with him, as I needed not only my captain and such a good goalkeeper for my opening game, that if he came for the game on Friday I would release him to go to the village after the game and skip the friendly game versus Niger scheduled for 3 days later after the Tanzania encounter, which he agreed.
“The team was scheduled to fly out on Thursday. On Wednesday afternoon Enyeama called to say he was not coming for the game, definitively.
“I was shocked as we had an agreement, we needed his experience, leadership and I was aware he was yet to miss a training session for his club side talk less of a league game.
“As faith will have it, with a brand new team that trained only for two days we were able to come out of the Tanzania game with a point and my newly discovered and talented goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme of Wolverhampton was the man of the match. A 2-0 resounding victory over Niger 3 days later gave a successful look to the first camping but cast questions on if we could count on the three above named players to help us proceed. I chose to build alternatives!”