Finidi George has explained the reason behind his decision to approach Portugal’s defender Pepe for a shirt from after Thursday’s friendly in Lisbon.
The Super Eagles assistant gaffer was widely criticized by fans, after cameras in the stadium showed him in what seemed like a plea for Pepe’s shirt at the end of the game against Portugal.
Some fans accused the former Real Betis and Ajax winger of lack of professionalism, while others described his action as an embarrassment to the Nation, after poor display from the team.
Reacting to the issue, Finidi said the scene was completely misrepresented by the fans.
He stated that, he was only trying to get the jersey for his son who is a Real Madrid fan.
“My son asked me two weeks ago if it’s possible to get the shirt of Ronaldo or Pepe because he’s a very big fan of Real Madrid when they were at the club and I told him I will try,” Finidi explained.
“Getting to the field, we knew Ronaldo wasn’t going to start because he was sick. So I told Pepe in the tunnel, please after the game, I would like to have the shirt for my son.
“So, he told me that was fine. After the game, I saw he was changing his shirt with one of the players and I went to remind him of what we said in the tunnel before the game started.
“He said he was going to give his shirt to somebody else, a player, a Super Eagles player playing in his club (Porto), and that definitely, I will get the shirt. I was speaking Spanish with him and that was it,” He was quoted on Premium Times.
Finidi added that, he’s disappointed with how the issue was blown out of proportion on the internet.
“People just want to twist things and the real reason for me. I’ve had many jerseys in my playing days and I don’t need Pepe’s shirt for myself. Where am I going to keep it? I don’t have a museum. It’s just that my son is a big fan and wanted me to ask.
“That’s what I did. I don’t know how getting something for my son becomes viral on Social Media. It’s crazy. I thought we should be talking about the game. But it was like I’m trending,” Finidi added.
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