Chinedu Obasi has revealed that he was dropped from the Super Eagles 2014 World Cup squad because he refused to pay a bribe.
The Elfsborg star revealed he was sent an invitation initially but was then asked to pay some money if he wants to make the final squad.
However, the 33-year-old revealed he refused to heed to the demands and was subsequently dropped from the final 23-man team.
The former Schalke man who made his debut in 2005 said he found it strange he was asked to pay as he was not a new player in the national team then.
Obasi had already played for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations the same year.
“I was supposed to play at the World Cup in 2014. I was playing with Schalke in the Champions League. Everything was going on fine, Obasi said in an Instagram Live interview with woramangra
“At the end of the season, I was sent an invitation for the world cup preparations.” Two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I want to be in the team.”
“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 Hoffenheim to England, and I got injured playing for Nigeria at the World Cup [in South Africa].”
“After that competition, nobody called me to know how I am doing. I spent a lot of money to get fit. All people talked about was the injury.
“They don’t care to know what I went through on a daily basis making sure I get my body in shape, to stay healthy.”
“It takes a lot of dedication, money, investing in myself, and my body. I went through surgery, did everything I can.”
“Now 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.”
Ogbuke added that some players had no business going to the World Cup that year, but he refused to talk about it because he did not want to create bad blood.
“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 a jab at anyone,” he continued.
“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.”
Ogbuke has played 26 times for Nigeria with his last appearance coming in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in 2011.