Udeze: Why Babayaro, Aiyegbeni, Agali Were Kicked Out Of 2004 AFCON

May 20, 2020
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Former Nigeria international Ifeanyi Udeze has revealed the reason why the trio of Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Agali and Celestine Babayaro were thrown out of the Super Eagles squad at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

Agali, Babayaro and Aiyegbeni were accused of carrying women after the Eagles lost 1-0 to Morocco in their opening game of the 2004 AFCON.

The three players were then axed from the squad with the Eagles’ second group game against South Africa just a few days ahead.

Also Read: Ejuke Ready To Wait For Super Eagles Chance

However, recalling the incident in his radio programme on Brila FM “Ifeanyi Udeze’s Diary”, the former left-back who was a member of the Eagles 2004 AFCON squad, debunked claims that the trio were caught with women.

“The rules they broke was that from 9:30pm to 10pm players must be in their rooms,” Udeze said.

“But past 11pm they were still down in the bar but they were not with ladies. I didnt see tyem with ladies and nobody told me they were caught with ladies.”

The 2002 FIFA World Cup star added: “Truth is if you are in a bar and someone else is also in the bar drinking on his or her own, does it mean we are together?” he asked.

The Eagles went on to beat South Africa 4-0 and Benin Republic 2-1 to advance alongside Morocco into the quarter-final.

In the quarter-final tie against then African champions Cameroon, the Eagles came from a goal down to win 2-1, thanks to a superb freekick from Austin Okocha and a breakaway goal from John Utaka.

Unfortunately, the Eagles lost 5-3 on penalties to host Tunisia after 120 minutes of football ended 1-1.

Okocha opened the scoring from the penalty spot before the Tunisians equalised with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game.

And in the third place match the Eagles beat Mali 2-1 to take home the bronze.

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