Osimhen blasts Finidi George, claims loss of respect over feigned injury allegations

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has expressed his disappointment and loss of respect for Finidi George, who recently resigned as head coach of the Super Eagles. Osimhen made these comments during a live session on his Instagram account on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

The controversy arose after reports surfaced claiming that Finidi George had hinted that Osimhen feigned injury to avoid playing in recent Super Eagles matches. The alleged comments were made during a meeting with John Enoh, the minister of sports development, and top officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

Osimhen was initially included in the squad list for the recent World Cup qualification matches against South Africa and Benin Republic. However, he withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Kenneth Igboke, a left-back from Enugu Rangers.

Osimhen's comments on Instagram suggest that he is upset over the allegations made by Finidi George, which he believes have damaged their relationship.

Although Osimhen said in the Video on his Instagram page that he “will not address anything, and I will let anyone believe whatever they want”, he however “will not allow disrespect from anybody.”

He clarified that he spoke with Finidi after he did a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the injury.

The 25-year-old added that he told Finidi to “allow me to stay with the players in the camp” despite the injury, but the coach told him to stay with his “family”.

“I did the MRI scan, and the next day, I was called by the doctor to his office. Immediately, I called Finidi and I told one of my guys to do the video of my conversation with Finidi. I will not address anything, and I will let anyone believe whatever they want. Everybody knows that whether I am playing for Eagles or Napoli, I play with my heart out,” Osimhen said.

“But I will not allow disrespect from anybody. I will not allow that nonsense. I will not allow rubbish on my name. I do not care if what Finidi said is false or whatever. I will post the video and screenshots of my conversation with Finidi. I have lost the respect I have for that man.

“I asked Finidi George to allow me to stay with the players in the camp, but Finidi asked me not to bother and that I should stay with my family.”

The Super Eagles drew 1-1 against South Africa and lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic. The results put mounting pressure on Finidi, who quit the Eagles job on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

Recall that embattled Finidi George who reportedly opened up on the turmoil he faced in his first few weeks in charge of the Super Eagles, said he has not received much support from his employers, the NFF. He also faulted the commitment of the players to the cause of the national team.

During a meeting with Sports Minister John Enoh in Abuja to review Super Eagles’ poor 2026 World Cup campaign, Finidi reportedly used the poster boy of Nigeria football, Victor Osimhen, to drive home his point that the country’s top stars are not fully committed to the Super Eagles.

Finidi at the meeting, also attended by NFF leadership, was reported to have said the Napoli striker could still have managed to play these matches, despite, his injuries.

The coach will go on to say that Osimhen, it would appear, chooses the games he plays for Nigeria and that he (Finidi) cannot beg him to play for his country, the report explains.

The former Enyimba coach also reportedly bemoaned the complete breakdown of discipline in the team and was totally disappointed with how the players strolled into training camp for the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

He said many of these players have the backing of some powerful NFF Board members and that it became increasingly difficult to sanction them because he would often be warned that a player “belonged” to a certain “big man”.
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