Former Three Lions forward, John Fashanu, has attributed his option to represent the English national team ahead of Nigeria to off the field issues with then coach Otto Gloria.
Fashanu revealed that the late MKO Abiola invited him to come play for his ancestral home which is Nigeria as he was born in England to Nigerian parents.
However the dream didn’t come to fruition as the then gaffer of the Eagles demanded for bribes which he wasn’t used to.
“The late MKO Abiola invited me to come play for my country Nigeria, I was so happy to train with team.
“And I trained for two days and the coach Otto Gloria came to me and said; Big Fash you haven’t paid your money. I said what ? He said you’ve not paid your money.
“And then I asked, pay my money for what ? He then replied asking me to pay my money in order to play for the Super Eagles, ₦1.something Naira he requested from me. As at now that’d be like ₦5M.
“I was very new to Nigeria then and that was my first time in Nigeria cause I was born in England to Nigerian parents and this coach is asking me to pay in other to play for the Super Eagles.
“I didn’t have the money, I was a young player playing in England but I hadn’t broken into the big boys yet and the boys here had people who paid the coach on their behalf.
“He now sent me back home with the statement saying, if you haven’t got the money you can’t play.
The Anglo-Nigerian didn’t stop there, he came back again to give it a try but he was chased away by Otto once more with him being advised to consider the option of making history with the Three Lions of England.
“I came back the second time, same thing. I came back the third time he still said the same thing saying Fashanu if you’re not gonna pay the money why don’t you leave it here. You don’t speak Yoruba, Hausa nor Igbo and you don’t fit into the team. Why don’t you go back to England and play for the three Lions in the process becoming the first Nigerian to play for England and stay away from Nigeria. I was disappointed disappointed, I was disheartened and very upset but I did it as I became the first Nigerian to play for England.”