By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
A former Super Eagles assistant manager, Valere Houdonou, has joined the raging debate stirred up by bribery allegations levelled by some ex-national team players against former handlers of the national team, Fides gathered.
Houdonou, while speaking with newsmen insisted that claims suggesting that his former boss, late Stephen Keshi, was involved in corrupt practices during his reign as Eagles’ gaffer cannot hold water.
Expressing his disappointment in the accusers of Keshi, Houdonou who served as a physical trainer under the former super eagles boss described the allegations as baseless.
Fides gathered that the trio of Chinedu Obasi, Taye Taiwo and Brown Ideye made damning claims that they were eased out of the 2014 World Cup squad after failing to meet up with financial demands from the Keshi-led technical crew.
Coach Houdonou who now handles National League side Sokoto United denied the claims, adding players were selected strictly on merit.
He further noted that, ‘ Boss deserves accolades from Nigerians and not condemnation, ‘.
‘He remains the only local coach to have won AFCON as coach and player. Keshi has done a lot for this country as a player and coach.
‘This was a man who gave his best to this nation and worked so hard to ensure Nigeria wins her third Nations Cup but all he could get after death is corruption claims.
‘Where were his accusers when he was alive? Why can’t they come up with these claims when Big Boss was alive? This is not fair at all.
‘People can go about saying all sorts of things but I know that our record as AFCON winner can never be tainted by corruption claims. I also gave my best to ensure our AFCON success.
‘Keshi’s Brazil 2014 World Cup squad was indeed a controversial one with the selection of the likes of Reuben Gabriel, Uche Nwofor and Michael Uchebo among others leading to many unanswered questions,’ Houdonou added.
Fides discovered that Nigeria crashed out of the 2014 World Cup tournament after losing 2-0 to France in the second round.