Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins has stated that his exclusion from the national team was due to Coach Stephen Keshi’s personal decisions.
Obafemi, who ended the season at Seattle in top form and scoring 17 goals, and also earned himself a nomination for the Most Valuable Player award, was deliberately ignored for the Super Eagles’ 2014 Fifa World Cup campaign.
Obafemi has in his entire international earned 39 caps and has scored 18 goals within 10 years playing for the Super Eagles.
He only appeared twice in international matches under Keshi’s watch in 2013; a friendly match against Venezuela in Miami and a World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Calabar.
Obafemi believes that his absence in Nigeria’s big match was because Stephen Keshi doesn’t seem to like him;
“I don’t think Keshi likes me, that’s all. I don’t have any issues with him though,” He told media newsmen when asked about his relationship with the coach who is yet to have his contract renewed.
“I respect him as a coach but I think Keshi doesn’t like me.”
Martins who is presently in Nigeria, scored the only goal in Football for Hope charity match which was organized by the Lagos State government that left Governor Babatunde Fashola’s side on the losing end on Saturday, January 3, 2014 at the Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos.
Other football stars who played in Martins’ team were Asisat Oshoala, Lukman Haruna, Babatunde Michael, Razak Omotoyossi, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Onome Ebi and John Dosu.
The Fashola faction features former internationals Victor Agali, Jonathan Akpoborie, Gbenga Okunnowo, Godwin Okpara and Waheed Akanni.