By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Former Super Eagles Head Coach, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh has heaped eulogies on the late Coach Joseph Bassey Eric aka Joe Erico saying that he served Nigeria well in his chosen career, football.
Speaking on Channels Television programme ‘Channels Sports Sunday’, Oliseh said the death of Erico has once again robbed Nigeria of a patriot who served his nation both as a national team goalkeeper and later as Super Eagles assistant coach.
According to the one- time Captain of Super Eagles, “Joe Erico lived ahead of his time and if Nigeria has valued her own, Erico would not have only coached in Nigeria but overseas too”.
Oliseh who spoke from his base in Belgium said it is regrettable that Erico has to depart the world at this time, pointing out that he and two of his late colleagues, Stephen Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu are legends of Nigeria football.
“Erico, Keshi and Amodu rescued Nigeria when an expatriate coach was almost not qualifying the country for the 2002 FIFA World Cup final and these gentlemen took charge and won three remaining games to qualify Nigeria for the Mundial.
Unfortunately, their reward for the rare feat was getting sacked after placing 3rd in the 2002 AFCON final in Mali”, Oliseh lamented.
Meanwhile, Oliseh has insisted that Nigeria football authorities are still owing all former coaches of the Super Eagles including himself monies, adding that Erico fell in this category.
Said he, “Coach Erico was owed money by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) just like Coaches Amodu, Keshi and myself are still being owed by the Federation. This is most unfortunate”.
Asked by the anchor if really he is still being owed money by his former employers (NFF), Oliseh replied in affirmative, insisting that not only him but other former coaches are owed backlog of entitlements.