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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 13:09 GMT
Oliseh's Nigerian future uncertain
Sunday Oliseh in action against Mali at the 2002 African Nations Cup
Oliseh will not rule himself out of the World Cup
By BBC Sport Online's Osasu Obayiuwana

Excluded from Nigeria's friendly against Paraguay, Sunday Oliseh says that he and Finidi George, also missing from the team, should be "left alone" for now.

Oliseh is undecided about playing in Nigeria's next friendly against Scotland, scheduled for 17April.

I have no apology to make to any official
Sunday Oliseh

"There is nothing I can say now [about playing the Scotland match].

"If you ask me in April, I'll be in a position to know if I will play in that game or not.

"As far as Finidi [George] and myself are concerned, we are watching the situation", he told BBC Sport Online.

Oliseh denied reports that he apologised for his conduct as captain during the African Nations Cup.

The Borussia Dortmund player says he has no regrets for his behaviour at the tournament.

Nigerian players, led by Oliseh, had a running battle with Nigerian officials over unpaid allowances and air tickets refunds.

"If there is any apology to be given by me, it is to the Nigerian people who expected us to bring the Cup back home, which we did not do.

"But I have no apology to make to any official", Oliseh said.

"No respect has been shown to me or my assistant whatsoever. We have been lied to so many times."

World Cup

Oliseh, whose club is a point behind Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga title race, has not ruled himself out of Korea/Japan.

Finidi George in action against Liberia at the 2002 African Nations Cup
Finidi was dropped for the Paraguay game
"I will not give some people the pleasure of hearing me say that.

"As far as I am concerned, there's only one captain and one assistant."

Oliseh retired from the national team after the 1998 World Cup finals.

But pleas from the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and fans made him change his mind.


Oliseh says that his love for Nigeria has been the motivating factor on the pitch for the last three years.

"I have led Nigeria to silver and bronze medals at the last two African Nations Cups.

"I do not think that is a poor perfomance for my country.

"I have been playing for the Nigerian people, who have supported us through the years."

With barely two months to the World Cup finals, Oliseh is apprehensive about the Super Eagles chances at the tournament.

"England's coach says he has just three places left to fill in his team, while we still have 22.

"It hurts that our coaches [at the Nations Cup] and some of the players are gone.

"Some of the players are not happy with the situation.

"But never rule out miracles at the World Cup, at least where Nigeria is concerned", he said.

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