After 13 years of dedicated service, Nigeria icon Vincent Enyeama has announced his retirement from international football after a career that saw him win 101 caps.
The 33-year-old Lille shot-stopper has had a sour relationship with new coach Sunday Oliseh, a feud which came to open on Tuesday in Belgium camp of the Super Eagles before yesterday’s international friendly match against Congo Democratic Republic.
Enyeama had arrived at the Super Eagles’ training camp in Belgium late having had extra time off agreed following the death of his mother. However, he arrived to find he had been stripped of the captaincy, which had instead been handed to Ahmed Musa.
Reports then suggested Enyeama had been expelled from Nigeria’s training camp in Belgium on Wednesday, but the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) came out to describe the incident as a “misunderstanding which has now been resolved”.
Enyeama has now removed himself from the squad, though, bringing an end to a Nigeria career that saw him play in three World Cups.
He wrote on Instagram: “I have fought a good fight for more than 13 years. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith and sang the anthem with passion.
“Henceforth, there is laid for me a crown which only God can reward me for my 13 years of national service. Henceforth, I am no more the captain of the Nigeria senior football team, I am no more the goalie of the team, I am out of the team. I am no more available for international duties.
“I want to say thank you to every Nigerian fan and supporter world wide. It has been the most trying period of my life but I know that Nigerians are there for me and God is with me. God bless Nigeria.”
Enyeama, who also represented Nigeria in five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, said it had been an extremely difficult time for him.
He added to BBC Sport: “It has been the most difficult period of my life, losing my mother and the emotion.
“After playing for the Super Eagles for 13 years, you never think that it would end like this but the time has come.
“There is never a good time to leave but I will always be a fan of the Super Eagles and Nigerian football.
“I played at three World Cups, won the Africa Cup of Nations and fought alongside brave compatriots so I am leaving on a high.”
Meanwhile, the NFF in its response said it could not stop goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, from quitting the national team
NFF through its Assistant Director, Communications, Ademola Olajire, told NAN in Abuja, that the federation would not beg Enyeama to rescind his decision.
He said: “we heard about his quitting the national team on his instagram page; if somebody says he is retiring from the national team, what are we going to do, to beg him?
“We don’t know if he is leaving the national team because of his quarrel with the coach. He just said on his intagram page that he is leaving the national team.
“So, why should we be finding out whether he left because of the rift?
“The player has gone out of the camp, what do you want us to do; he has left the camp and he did not tell anybody that he was leaving.
“There is a match today (Oct. 8), so, I don’t know what the federation should do. When somebody leaves the national team, what can we do about it?,” he responded.