Recent bribery allegations made by former Nigerian national team players are based on bitterness, says former Super Eagles Goalkeeper Idah Peterside.
Several current and ex-Nigerian internationals including Chinedu Obasi and Taye Taiwo have made claims alleging bribe taking on the part of coaches and officials of the Super Eagles in the last one month.
Peterside, a Media Officer of the senior national team at the 2014 World Cup offered some insight on the burning topic in a Radio interview with Comfort FM’s Mighty George.
“I think a lot of people are bitter and disappointed they did not go (for the 2014 World Cup),” the former Super Eagles media officer said.
Using an illustration from his playing days, Peterside said what many construe as bribe giving by a player could be better explained as an act of appreciation.
“When I played, it was (Clement) Westerhof and Chukwu but then I was playing for Rangers, Chukwu invited me from Rangers. I remember I was basically a reserve goalkeeper for Ike in most of the games but If they paid Ike 5000, I was given 5000. So I was making a lot of money even though I was not playing, there was no discrimination.
“If I come back to Enugu, I will go to the market and buy a bag of rice and bring to Christian Chukwu and say, “Hey Chairman! I decided to come give you something to cater for your feeding”. If I did that now, they’ll say I gave bribe for Chukwu to be inviting me.”
Peterside reacted to insinuations that the late Stephen Keshi who was gaffer at the time had been involved in bribe scandals. He described the former Super Eagles captain as a disciplinarian while highlighting his monetary wealth.
Nigeria’s Sports Minister Sunday Dare said the office of a football oumbudsman will be created to investigate such allegations.