Why I rejected super eagles call up
Former QPR defender, Nedum Onuoha has disclosed that he rejected the chance to don the Super Eagles colours because he was afraid of losing his Manchester City place.
Onuoha made this known in an interview with Sports Mole, where he said that representing Nigeria would have afforded him the opportunity of playing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Recall that he was approached twice by the three-time African champions, but he turned it down.
“In the lead up to the AFCON championships, you could hear how people were speaking ill of it, the timing of it, not taking it seriously and the like, and that frustrated me so I was continually pushing back, pushing back against it and initially when I was [at Man City] under Mancini, I said to Berti Vogts, the then Nigeria manager, that I couldn’t go because I wasn’t comfortable in my club position.
“[At the time, I felt] that you would fall down the pecking order if you decided to go and play for your national team. This would never be the case if you were playing for England or if you were playing for another European nation.”
Onuoha was born in Warri, Delta State, but his family emigrated to the UK when he was young.
He received his British citizenship at seven and became eligible to feature for England.
Onuoha represented City for eight years, playing in 93 league fixtures, before finally leaving for Queens Park Rangers in 2012.
An outstanding junior sprinter, aged 14 he finished in second place in the final of the 2001 English School’s Athletics Association Junior 100 metres contest, clocking 11.09 seconds and beating former Great Britain sprinter Craig Pickering. However, Onouha said about the record: “it was all just based on the fact I was doing summer training,” He is also currently the co-national record holder for boys under 15 standing triple jump, in the Sports Hall events held annually throughout the UK. The record is held jointly with international long jumper Jonathan Moore.