Former Nigerian international striker Chenido Obase said he was asked to pay a bribe if he wanted to join his country's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which was denied by a member of the technical staff during that era.
Obasi is 33 years old and has not been associated with any team since his departure from Sweden's Ike team in January. During his career, the striker defended the colors of several clubs, most notably Hoffenheim and Schalke 04, and played his last international match with the "Super Eagles" (Nigerian Super Eagles) team in 2011, after he participated in the World Cup in South Africa 2010, and was crowned the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"I was supposed to participate in the 2014 World Cup," Obasi said during an interview on social media this weekend. "At the time, I was with Schalke 04 and playing the Champions League, and everything was fine."
He continued, "At the end of the season, I was invited to the national squad for two friendly matches (in preparation for the World Cup) in South Africa," but "two days before the squad was announced, I was asked to pay a sum of money if I wanted to be with the national team."
Obasi did not specify who asked to pay the amount. The player, who was not eventually called up to the 2014 World Cup squad, confirmed that he had refused to pay.
"I felt that I had done my part for my country. If I were a new player you could understand that, but for me, it was personal and heartbreaking," he said.
He pointed out that his absence from the World Cup prevented the completion of a transfer deal to the English Premier League.
However, Valver Hudono, a member of the technical staff of the Nigerian national team during the Brazilian World Cup, confirmed that the exclusion of Obasi was due to his decline and the presence of emerging players in the offensive line at the time.
"The question is about his positioning any of the attackers at the time? (...) He was invited (to friendly matches) as any potential player to be included in the World Cup squad, because the technical staff wanted to take the best players to Brazil. He failed to join the squad because he was unable to From displacing one of the national team. "
But Daniel Amokashi, the former international player who was also in the technical staff of the 2014 World Cup, saw that corruption in the game locally is not limited to officials, but also includes players and their agents, without directly addressing the Obasi case.
"The issue of paying bribes or charging them in our football is not a one-way street. The agents of some players come to meet the coach and offer him money to include their clients (to the squad)," he said.
"This is a two-way road. Sometimes players come to the coach and tell him + my agent will pay if he is included in the squad +", without exempting coaches and officials from involvement in such practices, he explained.
Nigeria is seeing investigations of corruption allegations against senior officials of the Football Association.