News Matches
African All Stars

Ogu: How Nigeria coaches Keshi and Rohr ignored me in painful World Cups

10:57 SAST 2022/07/27
John Ogu - Nigeria
The 34-year-old has not featured for the Super Eagles since 2019 when he made it to Afcon in Egypt

Nigeria international John Ogu has revealed his omission from the 2014 World Cup by the late tactician Stephen Keshi was 'unexpected'.

The midfielder had played a crucial role in the journey to the prestigious global competition which was played in Brazil.

Having been a regular for the Super Eagles, the now 34-year-old had expected to be included in the final squad. However, it was not the case as the player was among those axed from the team.

"The first World Cup I was supposed to go to, during a pre-World Cup game against Italy, I did well," Ogu told Pulse Sports.

"Everyone was sure that John Ogu was going to go to the World Cup. Even when Keshi said that it was not everyone that would make the team, I was sure I wasn't among those he was referring to.

"And then the list came out, my name wasn't there. And the painful part was that, unlike me, some of the names on the list did not play one qualifying match. And that's how I missed out on that World Cup."

In the 2018 World Cup, Ogu was in the squad that made it to Russia; but the then coach Gernot Rohr did not give the midfielder an opportunity to play.

"And then another one was the last World Cup, the dream [of going to competition] came true, and the man [coach Rohr] didn't even give me one minute.

"Even when I needed to be on the pitch when the Nigerians needed me against Argentina, he did not bring me in. That was painful too."

Ogu made it to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Egypt. Algeria, who won that edition, eliminated Nigeria in the semis and the Maccabi Jaffa player recalls the situation.

"The second one was the semi-final of the 2019 Afcon, where we lost to Algeria and couldn't make the final. That was tough, even though I was not on the pitch."