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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
West blamed for World Cup failure
Adegboye Onigbinde
Onigbinde (right) says West led a player's rebellion
Nigeria coach Adegboye Onigbinde has claimed that defender Taribo West "flouted" his instructions at the World Cup, causing a player's rebellion that led to the Super Eagles' early exit.

Nigeria were the second team out of the competition - after Saudi Arabia - after losing their first two games to Argentina and Sweden.

They restored some pride with a 0-0 draw against England after Onigbinde dropped several of his established players - including West, who subsequently called for Onigbinde's resignation.

But Onigbinde now claims that West destroyed the team spirit in the camp.

"He was a bad influence on the young players," Onigbinde said of the player, who is currently unattached after being released from Kaiserslautern.

"It was a surprise to us that Taribo would choose to undermine us at the World Cup.

"We took him to the finals to guide the players. But as we found out later he would only ask the players to play to his own style as against what we asked them to do.

"He was never with us."

Onigbinde also hit out at the way West had criticised the team afterwards.

"It was unfortunate that after our exit he would run his mouth calling other players 'junk'," Onigbinde said.

"We are confounded because the so-called junk players held England to a draw while Nigeria lost the other matches even when we fielded 'superstar' Taribo," he said.


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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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