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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Players plead for Okocha rethink
Jay-Jay Okocha
Okocha (left) is looking for a new club
Nigeria captain Jay-Jay Okocha is being pressed by his team-mates to rethink his international retirement.

Okocha was arguably Nigeria's best player in their World Cup campaign, but midway through the tournament he announced that he would be quitting after the team's participation ended.

However, other Super Eagles players are urging him to have a rethink.

"It was a great disappointment not to go further in the tournament, but all the same I would like Okocha to stay on," said goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu.

"The younger players could really learn from him," Shorunmu added.

Peterside Idah, a former international team-mate of Okocha, also said it was too early for the player - the most expensive in Nigeria's history - to quit international football.

"He still has at least four years left to play for the team," Idah said.

"If he decides after the next World Cup it's over, it would then be okay."

And it is not just the players who have asked Okocha to change his mind.

The country's sports minister, Stephen Akiga, also appealed to Okocha to continue to feature for the national team because "Nigeria still needs him".


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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