I Regret Playing For Nigeria National Team–Benedict Akwuegbu
Former Super Eagles striker , Benedict Akwuegbu , says he regrets playing for the national team after rejecting an offer from Austria to represent them.
The 45 – year – old, said after playing at the U- 17 , U- 20 , U- 23 and the senior national teams , he deserved more recognition than he is getting from the Nigerian football authorities .
“ It’ s so sad that after serving my fatherland , the football authorities don ’ t seem to appreciate nor recognise my efforts , ” Akwuegbu said .
“ It makes me regret playing for the Super Eagles. It makes me blame myself , and ask myself why I rejected Austria (officials ), who were all over me then to play for their national team, which I turned down in preference for Nigeria .
“ If I knew I would be treated this way , perhaps I would have been much wiser . But then , that ’ s the prize I had to pay for being patriotic , holding tight to my love for the green and white colours of Nigeria .
“Till today , Austria still shows me love , they still recognise me to the point that I now wonder how it would have been if I had taken up their nationality and represented them at the senior level . ”
He added , “I ’ m just being honest to my conscience. I ’ m not against the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation . They are doing their best and obviously they cannot carry everyone along all together .
“ But then , the field is large enough for them to increase the team (coaches ) number. You have the Super Eagles, U- 23 , Flying Eagles, U – 17 . You also have the women ’ s teams – Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingoes.
“ You can appoint one ex – international to each of these teams. By so doing , nobody will complain . You have ex -Eagles stars like Taribo West and others who gave their all to Nigeria but not recognised now nor engaged . It is not fair . ”
Akwuegbu was part of the Golden Eaglets side to the U- 17 World Cup in Scotland in 1989 , before stints with the Flying Eagles and the U- 23 team.
He was also in the Eagles squad to the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations , before making the squad to the Japan /Korea 2002 World Cup , playing the last group game against England .