Former Three Lions of England player, John Fashanu has narrated how and why he refused playing for Nigeria.
The former Wimbledon FC forward who was born in London to a Nigerian father and a Guyanese mother, had a stellar footballing career.
And when he appeared on the Special Delivery podcast hosted by Emmanuel Babayaro, ex-Eagles goalkeeper, and Matthew Edafe, he disclosed that the insistence of the Super Eagles coaches that he must pay a bribe to be picked, made him opt for England instead of Nigeria.
Many have slated the 59-year-old since, some even labelling him a “traitor.”
Fashanu had a 17-year-long career which saw him score over 150 goals and win the 1988 FA Cup with Wimbledon.
“I remember a long time ago in England and I was London with my son and this Nigerian came up to me and said: ‘You are a bloody traitor to your own country.’ Then I went to a bar with him I talked it through with him. And I told him that I have come to Nigeria three times to play for my motherland. I was not invited to come to Nigeria but the late MKO put me in his private jet and said to the coaches that ‘this guy can play football and I’m going to give him to Nigeria,’” he said.
“Through him, I came into the Eagles camp and I started playing there. I came the first time, but I wasn’t selected. Second and third time and I was not selected. Bearing in mind I was still playing top football in the English Premier League (EPL) at the time. So the then coach, I cannot remember who it was, came up to me and said, ‘Fashanu, why don’t you bring some money and we will see what we can do.’ And I was like no.”