Former Nigeria defender Taribo West has revealed that Super Eagles crashed out of the 1998 World Cup in France because some players had overnight sex romp with some ‘African women’ prior to their disastrous round of 16 outing against Denmark
The Nigerians, overwhelming favourites against the Danish opponents, put up a lacklustre performance and were humiliated 4-1 by the Europeans in a one-sided encounter in front of 77,000 fans at Stade de France, Saint-Denis.
According to Punch, Taribo said some players brought women into the rooms the night the June 28, 1998 clash, which he claimed led to fatigue on match day.
“I read reports about Eagles visiting nightclubs and driving limousines during the World Cup in France, honestly, I don’t know about that,” Taribo said.
“But what I know is that some players sneaked women into camp, I saw that. The women were Africans who came to watch the tournament and fell in love with our team, because of the way we played in the group stage. So, it was easy for these players to woo them to their rooms.
“That is why on match day, you could see a lot of the players didn’t have the strength to curtail the Danish players. They were tired after overworking themselves the night before with the women. I was yelling at them on the pitch, I was very angry with them.
“They did all these because they thought we were going to beat Denmark.”
After becoming one of the tournaments main talking points, West said players enjoyed the sudden attention they started to receive.
The former defender, well known for his outlandish haircuts, said his team-mates were too complacent for the game and had made themselves fatigued the night before.
Brian Laudrup and company went ahead just three minutes into the tie at the Stade de France and sailed into a four goal lead, with Tijani Babangida’s strike a consolation for the African side.
Nigeria’s popular side included stars such as former Bolton showman Jay Jay Okocha and ex Arsenal and Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu.
Taribo West, 45, joined Milan from cross-town rivals Inter in December 1999, but after making just four appearances was loaned out to then-Premier League side Derby County in November 2000, and never played for the Rossoneri again.
West, who also played for clubs including Auxerre, Partizan Belgrade and Plymouth Argyle, won 42 caps for Nigeria between 1994 and 2005, and retired in 2008.