Some Super Eagles players have accused one of the coaches of the national team of extorting money from players through his wristwatch business.
The correspondent learnt that the coach would buy the wristwatches at cheap prices in Europe, only to sell them at ridiculous rates for the players.
According to the players, they became enemies of the said coach if they refused to buy the wristwatches from him.
“The coach buys the wristwatches between $500 and $1000 in Europe and forces us to buy them for $10000. If you don’t buy, you are regarded as an enemy,” one of the senior players of the national team, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent.
“The most painful thing is that these wristwatches are sold at very cheap prices in Europe; they go for between $500 and $1000 but he brings them here to sell for us at such outrageous prices. I have to buy or I would be seen as encouraging the other players not to buy.”
Another player, who plays in Eastern Europe, also complained of the same problem. The player, who also pleaded anonymity, said he almost lost his place in one of the junior national teams because of the wristwatches.
“Before I moved to my present club, I was on an apprentice contract, which means I wasn’t collecting much money but the coach forced me to buy the watch.
“The same thing happened to me, when I was invited to the senior team. It is not good for the team because a lot of players are grumbling, though they can’t come out and say it.”
An official of the team confirmed the story saying, “I have heard about the story before.”
But the Eagles media officer, Ben Alaiya, denied any knowledge of the illegal transactions.
He said, “I am not aware of any such story. The Super Eagles is not a market place; if at all anything like that is happening, I think it’s a private transaction between those involved. But I am not aware of anything like that.”
Source: Punch Nigeria