Leon Balogun has admitted that Calvin Bassey struggled on his full debut for the Super Eagles back in March.
Bassey was handed a starting belt by interim boss Austin Eguavoen in the FIFA World Cup qualification playoff against the Black Stars in Abuja.
The defender is one of the players who struggled to impress as the Super drew 1-1 with Ghana and missed out on World Cup ticket.
Bassey however said he struggled to breath during the game, because of the weather and the statement was not well received by angry Nigerian fans.
Speaking on the incident again, Balogun stressed that the Player really suffered due to weather conditions, adding that people actually took Bassey’s statement wrongly.
“I remember Calvin, not breaking down, but he was tired, and then I remember some players,” Balogun said on The Beautiful Game Podcast.
“Some pundits came out saying that we shouldn’t invite players that are not fit to play African football, because he (Bassey) said in an interview before that he needs to get used to the heat, but I’m sorry we played in Abuja.
“Most of us play in Europe so it doesn’t matter if players are from Abuja. If you spend the majority of the year in Europe, in England, I’m sorry you’re not going to be used to that heat of 37 degrees, that’s just nonsense.
“He played his heart out but he was cramping up and everything, lot of us. I was tired but you just try to keep going and try again.
“We tried everything but everything on that day was not good enough.”
Bassey has since developed to a reliable player for the Super Eagles, playing all six matches played by the national team since then.
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