Emmanuel Amunike says he believes he’s still persona non grata with some football fans in the northern part of Nigeria over his decision, in 2015, to drop several players from the U17 national team, that eventually went on to win the World Cup.
Amunike said, during a telephone interview on Brila FM’s Football Live show, that the anger of football enthusiasts in the North was unjustifiable, based on misinformation.
The former Super Eagles winger was accused by several players and their representatives, back then of victimization and even fraud.
However, Amunike, who is now the head coach of Tanzania’z Taifa Stars explained that the lot of players kicked out of the camp were either over aged or had age discrepancies on their passports.
‘I know what I experienced when I was coaching in the U17s. I was public enemy number one; even the people in the North Today, a lot of them believe I am an enemy to them. But none have asked the players that did not make it, what really warrant their not making it.
‘Most of these players had serious issues; some even have five passports. So when you tell a player to go and do his passport, he doesn’t return because he has a lot of passports.
‘But people around them will not educate them because they’re only looking at the money aspect, they’re not being truthful to them,’ Amunike explained.