Sunday Oliseh and the Eagles feeding fiasco

Since erstwhile coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh quit his job there has been one damaging report to another emanating from him to destroy the Nigeria Football Federation.

Those who follow me on Social media (Twitter, Facebook and this blog) know I am not exactly a fan of the Nigeria Football Federation but I detest lies and half-truths which is what most of what Sunday Oliseh has said is.

One of the biggest of these stories which still trends until this day is the fact that Oliseh said he had to use $4000 of his hard earned money to feed the Super Eagles players while in South Africa enroute Rwanda for the Championship for African Nations.

My beer parlour argument

Without even knowing the details, I discussed with some friends as regards this issue. Carl Orakwue is one and my thinking was that the Nigerian national team would not go for a pre-Cup of Nations camp and pay hotel bills minus feeding to the point that the players would go hungry.

My idea at first was that the coach probably decided to buy food for the players because, maybe they played a friendly match well and got a good result, did well in training or just wanted to spoil them.

I gave the example of my time at Dolphins FC when I had bought dinner for the players on one occasion when they posted a good away result or another time I bought drinks for them all after they got a draw at our city rivals, Sharks.

It would have been unfair of me to say they were starving until I fed them if that was the case, but I digress.

Sunday Oliseh and the Eagles feeding

A few days ago, an invoice was shown on Cable Television, Supersports show, Soccer Africa.

It was an invoice addressed to Mr. Sunday Oliseh and it was supposed to be proof amongst the Supersports analysts that the Super Eagles players and officials would have starved in South Africa (according to their analyses) but did they investigate the invoice properly?

First the invoice was dated 5th January and description was feeding from 5th to 14th January and the first question one would have asked is, “Do you prepare an invoice before or after the deed is done?”

Having lived in hotels on a bi-monthly basis since 2003, my submission is simply that an invoice is written after the service is rendered.

So I was amused that this invoice was date January 5 and the description of service was January 5-14.

It seemed the invoice was hurriedly arranged. Maybe on resignation, he needed a narrative to pull and then he put a call to his friends in South Africa or the Delta Kitchen itself to produce the invoice for the meals he paid for.

In their rush they made that careless mistake with the dates.

Second, the invoice is owned by a certain Delta Kitchen, whilst the Super Eagles stayed at the Protea Hotel, but did anybody ask why Delta Kitchen will provide and invoice for Protea?

Third, the invoice was for ten meals and the question is, how long did the Super Eagles stay and were they only fed ten times? Or was it just those ten times the players showed signs of starvation?

The True story behind the feeding

Or what I believe is the true story after my own investigations on this matter has to be this-

The Super Eagles were camped at the Protea Hotel, Hatfield in Pretoria and the players, coaches and backroom staff ate the same meals at the Protea Hotels.

They were all well fed and none was malnourished as part of the payment made to the hotel by the Nigeria Football Federation included meals (naturally) and they had buffet which they all enjoyed.

The buffet was three times daily (naturally) and there were no complaints.

On a visit to the Nigerian Embassy, which is usual when Nigerian teams are camped abroad, the team was treated with Nigerian food and Sunday Oliseh noticed how the players voraciously plundered the food.

He then decided (of his free will) to provide Nigerian food for them once a day which he did and that is why the invoice was made in his name.

Delta Kitchen is the same restaurant that supplies Nigerian food to the Nigerian embassy in South Africa so they began to supply food to the team once a day.

Note that the Super Eagles players still ate their Protea Hotel food three times daily as well as the Nigerian food Oliseh provided for them.

The point now is, it is very wrong and misleading for the coach to claim the players would have starved if not for the food he bought for the team.

Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye told me when I asked his opinion on this matter that there seems to be some calculated attempts by some persons to embarrass Nigeria  with those half-truths and poorly investigated reports.

“I am very sure that our former coach Sunday Oliseh's intentions were to motivate the boys to giving their best during our preparations. He has resigned now and his decisions should be respected but I am sure he would not want that move of his to buy Nigerian food for the team in camp, something he did out of his free will, to be a source of embarrassment to Nigeria," Ibitoye stated to

In my 13 years travelling with Dolphins FC, players volunteer to feed the team when the team travel to their state of origin. Coaches and other staff of the club do same too. These people would never claim they saved the team from starvation if not for the meals they bought.

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  1. I watched the said episode of Soccer Africa and it only made me to be so ashamed on behalf of Oliseh.In my stint as media officer of Bayelsa United I sometimes spend my personal resources on players,but I or any reasonable official can't go public on such account so much so as to claiming "saviour of the team".China thanks all the same.