In this exclusive chat with Sports Intelligence,Musbau Olayinka Oladimeji manager of one of Nigeria’s international footballer Abiodun Lawal, talks about the future of the forward from his base in the US. He debunked all claims made some years back in a story that Lawal was banned from international football and points that Lawal would have delivered Nigeria if given the opportunity in the 2017 AFCON qualifier against Egypt. Please Read on.
S.I: There are speculations that Abiodun Lawal was banned six years ago from international football, how true is that?
That’s not true, I read that story as well about Abiodun Lawal been banned, and I was surprised that unknown person could write that a footballer was banned from international football without FIFA getting directly involved. It is only FIFA that can ban a footballer. We have seen several cases like that of Luis Suarez and others who were banned and it was publicized. I think the writer was just being mischievous by trying to tarnish the image of the player.
S.I: But the writer claimed that Lawal was not fit to play football and was banned?
Like I said earlier on, that article was written by an unknown person, and I do not want to waste my time on such article. I was in Nigeria sometime in January 2015 and I watched Lawal play in one of the matches for Fitness Football Club. Lawal is one footballer that is missing in the Nigerian national team now as far as I am concerned.
S.I: According to what you read, what were the reasons for his ban?
(Laughs) Anyway, I read that AZAL Football Club in Azerbaijani banned him from football because he had knee injury and that is not tenable anywhere in the world. The club was only being irresponsible, as you all know that footballers are prone to injury, so why should Lawal’s case be different. Players have stayed away for months due to injury, but the club were not ready to pay his bonuses and take care of him and that was why they terminated his contract. That’s unfair. So why should someone now write that he was banned. He had knee injury then but now he is perfect and okay. Lawal is not a drug addict, neither is he a fighter, he is an easy going footballer.
S.I: So where is Abiodun Lawal now?
He is currently in Nigeria now and he plays with Fitness Football club in Lagos.
S.I: Do you think Abiodun can make it to the Nigerian national team someday?
Yes. I am being very optimistic and I know that Lawal would have made the difference if he played in Nigeria’s match against Egypt. What we lacked in that team was someone who would drive the attack, and Lawal have got what it takes to do that. I just hope that the next coach of the Super Eagles would spread their tentacles and give opportunity to someone like Abiodun Lawal, He surely will make the difference.
S.I: Thank you for making out time to chat with us
You are welcome.