John Fashanu: I was denied playing for Nigeria 3 times for refusing to pay bribe

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A former England International, John Fashanu has explained why he did not play International football for Nigeria.

He stated this as a guest on the Special Delivery podcast hosted by former Eagles goalkeeper, Emmanuel Babayaro, and Matthew Edafe.

Fashanu, who won the 1988 FA Cup in England, was born to a Nigerian father and Guyanese mother.

He was capped three times by the Three Lions of England and scored over 150 goals in the English top flight.

At the height of his powers, many Nigerians faulted him for not playing for the Eagles, with some persons tagging him a “traitor”.

Fashanu has now explained why he did not play for Nigeria despite making effort on different occasions to do so.

“I remember a long time ago in England and I was London with my son and this Nigerian came up to me and said: ‘You are a bloody traitor to your own country.’ Then I went to a bar with him I talked it through with him. And I told him that I have come to Nigeria three times to play for my motherland. I was not invited to come to Nigeria but the late MKO put me in his private jet and said to the coaches that ‘this guy can play football and I’m going to give him to Nigeria.

“Through him, I came into the Eagles camp and I started playing there. I came the first time, but I wasn’t selected. Second and third time and I was not selected. Bearing in mind I was still playing top football in the English Premier League (EPL) at the time. So the then coach, I cannot remember who it was, came up to me and said, ‘Fashanu, why don’t you bring some money and we will see what we can do.’ And I was like no,” Fashanu said.

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