National Team News

USA ‘94: We Lost to Italy A Day Before the Actual Match, Says Finidi George

By: Godwin Nathaniel

The football community in Nigeria have continued to regurgitate on how Nigeria’s infamous Class of 1994 Super Eagles lost to the Azzurri of Italy in the most excruciating manner at the 1994 FIFA Wold Cup in the USA.
Super Eagles wing wizard at the time, Finidi George has revealed that Nigeria’s lost to Italy at USA 1994 World Cup was a consequence of what happened in the team’s camp a day before the game.

In an interview with NSM, Finidi said “Westerhof wanted to move the team from Boston to another Hotel, as the hotel had many people.

The coach felt it was not good for the players as we were losing concentration. ”

Finidi revealed that the players kicked against the decision to move out on the eve of a game. “Most players refused to move because we felt we already had too much stuffs. We had a little bit of argument and Westerhoff was angry, he left the hotel and went AWOL until the then NFA intervened. ”

The former Real Mallorca revealed that Clemens Westerhoff was furious with the players for having too many visitors; friends and family members were always at the hotel.

The coach went on to pay for another hotel and told the players to get set to leave.

Finidi said players felt slighted as they were not consulted by Westerhoff. “He asked us to move our stuffs that we are leaving. The players felt it was an order and since we were not informed earlier that we were leaving, it was like disrespecting the players, we said that was treating us like kids. Westerhoff was furious, he resigned but the NFA intervened and he came back”

Finidi opined this sort of a big disagreement in camp a day before the crucial game against Italy affected the players on the pitch.

Nigeria had won its opening group game against Bulgaira 3-0, lost its second game to Argentina 2-1, before sealing progress to the next round via a 2-0 win over Greece and then losing to Italy 2-1 in the round of 16.

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