REVEALED: Why Westerhof Omitted Tijani Babaginda From 1994 AFCON/World Cup Squads
By Our Correspondent
The year 1994 remained the defining moment in Nigeria football history as it was a year the Super Eagles won her second Africa Cup of Nations , AFCON title as well made her debut in global football as she featured for the first time in FIFA World Cup same year.
While the events and memories might have been confined in history, however, actors and players in the historic moment have refused to let the events behind the scene rest
Few days ago, former captain of he team, Sunday Oliseh revealed how he was made captain of the team by the coach.
This time, ex attacker and winger, Tijani Babaginda has made a startling revelation on why former Super Eagles coach, Clemence Westerhof dropped him from the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and 1994 FIFA World Cup squad in the United States.
Babaginda, who questioned Westerhof’s rationale for his omission from the final 23-man squad, said that his decision not to allow the Dutch tactician to manage him as a player led to his omission.
Recall that Babaginda was in the best form of his life for Roda JC in the Eredivisie when he was dropped for both competitions, but that didn’t deter him as he went ahead to win the Olympic gold with the Dream Team in 96′.
However, in a chat with an online newspaper, Punch, Babaginda stated that he would have been instrumental for the team at the World Cup if he was selected.
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“I was too good to be left out of the squads to the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup in the US,” Babangida said during a media parley.
“I had issues with the coach (Westerhof), who wanted to manage me and I disagreed.
“With my pace then I would have helped the Eagles. It was very painful to be left out of the team to those tournaments in 1994 because I knew I deserved to be in that team.
“When Emmanuel Amuneke and Daniel Amokachi were injured against Italy, my pace would have been helpful to the team if I was included.”