Nigerian striker claims Yemen interest
Al Tilal SC striker, Enehizena Douglas Odigie, has told supersport.com that he was close to playing for the men’s Olympic national team of Yemen.
Odigie, who is popularly known as Douglas in the Yemeni top flight, asserted that he was approached before the qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics by officials of the Yemen Football Association to play for their national team.
But he explained that top hierarchy of the country’s FA said it was not ready to hand foreigners’ international caps.
Odigie is however flattered that the Yemenis consider him good enough to play for their national team.
“They approached me to play for their Olympic men’s national team but the country’s FA said they were not ready to use foreign players yet since they want to develop their homegrown talents.
“At that point I couldn’t make a decision to play for Yemen or not as I still fancied my chances of one day playing for Nigeria. I really want to play international football. It is true that Nigeria have got lots of talented players, I’ll still love to play for my country one day. But at least I’m happy they believed in me and in my ability as a footballer,” said the former Union Bank FC striker.
Odigie, who is often referred to as Douglas in the Yemeni league, said playing in the Middle East has brought about a different experience to his football education.
“In Yemen they love the game but it is not the same as Nigeria though. I’ve enjoyed my time there so far and I’ve enjoyed my football too. But I won’t mind a move to a big league as change is the only constant thing in life. So if the offer is right I won’t hesitate to leave,” said Odigie.
Odigie helped Al Tilal SC finishes in 10th position in the 2012/13 Yemeni league season by scoring nine goals.