Super Eagles Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh, yesterday passed the buck and pleaded he was not liable for Nigeria’s free fall in FIFA world ranking.
The Eagles are currently ranked as the 59th best team in the world following the updated world ranking released for the month of October 2015 by FIFA.
Oliseh was a member of the Nigerian team that climbed to fifth position in the world in 1994, the highest ever attained by any African team in the world.
But at a media parley ahead of the Eagles’ trip to Swaziland where Nigeria have a 2018 World Cup date this Friday, Oliseh said he could not be bothered about Nigeria’s sustained diminishing fortunes because the ranking was not his making.
“I can’t worry about what I can’t control. I can’t be held responsible for the Eagles lowly ranking. As a matter of fact, I have only lost one match out of four games since I took charge of the team,’’ Oliseh insisted.
Under his watch, Nigeria’s only loss was the 2-0 loss to DR Congo in Belgium in a friendly match. The team also beat Niger 2-0 and Cameroun 3-0 in other friendly ties, while they forced a goalless draw with Tanzania in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Dar es Salam.
Oliseh similarly scorned at the suggestion that the players be subjected to the disciplinary Code of Conduct while on national assignment.
Instead the former Juventus midfielder insisted the players are no kids and deserved to be respected by the authority and the media.
‘’We can’t talk of code of conduct because the players are men and some of them are married. It is internal affairs and my players are not kids. They are stars and should be respected. If you want respect as a coach, you give it, if you want it as a federation, you give it’’.
He also a put a stout defence in support of first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who is frozen out at Championship outfit, Wolves ahead of Daniel Akpeyi, despite his current status as Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper.
Oliseh said he was satisfied with Ikeme’s performance for the Eagles. He adduced the reason why the goalkeeper who took over from Vincent Enyeama was not keeping at Wolves as political.
He described Swaziland as a team Nigeria would not underrate, considering that the side drew with Guinea and eliminated Djibouti over two legs in the World Cup preliminary round.