Enyeama faces sanction over comments about match venue



Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama could face sanctions after questioning the suitability of the venue for his country’s last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Enyeama, who plays for French side Lille, suggested Kaduna city, in northern Nigeria, should not have been chosen to host Saturday’s match against Chad on security grounds.

The Super Eagles won the match 2-0. Enyeama skippered the side in his 101st appearance for his country — making him Nigeria’s most capped international.

The comments reportedly did not go down well with the new Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who said he would not attend the match until football federation chiefs stepped in.

Boko Haram Islamists, who believe football is a Western ploy to distract Muslims from their religion, have attacked cities in northern Nigeria, including in Kaduna.

But the violence is largely concentrated in the northeast.

Enyeama, 32, later apologised but Nigeria Football Federation officials said they were looking at punishing the player after manager Stephen Keshi criticised the remarks.

“What Vincent did was unacceptable and he cannot go unpunished for this,” added Nigeria’s former midfielder Garba Lawal, who is now general manager at Kaduna United FC.

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  • moses

    this fools called NFF and their Garba Lawal should be ashemmed of them self for collecting bribe to play this important match in that war zone called North,you people are idiots and should apologist to Nigeria peoples,animals called nff

    • mike ekwempu

      Moses please learn to say words that will show you are the son of GOD.Your words should be full of grace.
      You do not call humans created in the image of God animals.
      God loved them hence,He sent JESUS to die for mankind on the cross.


      This is democracy any body is entitle to opinion on situations the way he or she sees it and Vincent Enyeama is not and exemption. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right entrenched in the Nigeria constitution. So Punishing Vincent Enyeama for his opinion is punishing the fundamental human right of self expression. His comment should educate our people to think humane . Players are not animals . These are the players that have been on good football pitch in a broad. we should try to keep our infrastructures in order rather than making none sense move that does not make any sense out of it. whether you sanction him or not after all what does it pay to play for a country that does not have your welfare in heart? And that will not stop him playing for his club where his package and safety is guarantee, a be?

    • Saydo Shan

      What U posted speaks eloquently about U.

  • jae pete

    Garba lawal and the NFF should be punished for choosing kaduna as the venue of the match,Kaduna is a city that is within Boko haram striking distance where buhari himself was attacked by Boko haram in Kaduna. Enyeama should have been recommended for punishment if he failed to raise security concerns about the suitability of boko haram infested kaduna as the venue for the match. He was concerned about the safety of his teammates and spectators, God bless him for speaking the truth and being concerned to the safety of lives of Nigerians.

  • Mcmasters Macmasters

    Any potential PARTICIPANT in any sporting event scheduled to take place in any part of the WORLD – of
    Enyema IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: between the Nigerian Constitution and the Geneva Convention.

  • Muyiwa Bakare

    @jaepete:disqus,There are Nigerian’s like yourself living in Kaduna and still go about there day to day business’s,so it was absolutely right for the NFF to have staged the match in Kaduna. You.You don’t give in to terrorism by seating down and accepting that Kaduna is a war zone. Kaduna has been stable for some time now and no need to re heat the polity.And as it turned out it all went well.@moses,you must learn to respect people’s opinion and not trade abusive comments.Engage constructively.

    • Bid Mgbemena

      @Muyiwa, I will not get into the debate of whether NFF is right to schedule a match anywhere in Nigeria they feel is good for a match. My question is does their right preclude Enyeama from expressing his opinion? I think that he has rights, first as the Captain of the team to express concern about the venue; whether positive or negative. He also has rights as a citizen and even as an individual to express his concern. It is sad that leaders and people in authority often politicize trivial situations rather than addressing them. The fact that there was no bomb blast at the venue that day does not mean that there were no higher likelihood of it happening there than at Ogbe Stadium Benin for instance. In dealing with situations of secutiry, it is better to act to preclude a bad situation than to do otherwise. It looks self-serving to me for the Governor of Kaduna state to insist on punitive action against Enyeama, else he would not attend the match.

      • Muyiwa Bakare

        @Bid Mgbemena,I understand as the Captain for the team he has the right to express his opinion albeit within the confines of the team Enyeama is not any better that the million other Nigerian’s residing in Kaduna or the North.They only way you give in to terrorism is recognising that situations like this is a no go area and that sends the wrong signal to the whole fight in the very first place.This has no political undertone to it.It will be nice if he can transfer that spirit to making his team mates play better and secure the ticket and go ahead an win the next Nations Cup and ultimately get to the Semi Final’s of the Russian world Cup in 2018.The security the team enjoys to and from the stadium will obviously be better than the thousand that will throng the stadium to watch the match.The security of the state is a collective responsibility of us all and Nigeria can be greater again.So we can channel our time to more productive arguments.Finally Enyeama is no better that the First Citizen of the State.