Twenty two years after Nigeria’s infamous 4-1 drubbing in the hands Denmark in the second round of the France ’98 World Cup, the man at the heart of Super Eagles defence, Taribo West has attributed the loss to his colleagues’ having nice time with women sneaked inside their rooms rather than focusing on the next day’s football action.
“They were tired after overworking themselves the night before with the women,” former Nigeria star Taribo West confessed.
Former Inter and AC Milan defender said their antics were to blame for defeat.
West revealed that some of his team-mates snuck women into their camp before their 1998 World Cup game against Denmark, and says that was to blame for their lacklustre display.
Nigeria were one of the fairytale stories of the competition in France after surprisingly topping their group with six points ahead of Spain, Bulgaria and Paraguay.
The Super Eagles were paired against the Danes for the knock-out tie and were overwhelming favourites but failed to continue their astonishing run as an abject performance saw them bow out as 4-1 losers.
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.
‘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.
Nigeria’s popular side included stars such as former Bolton showman Jay Jay Okocha and ex Arsenal and Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu.
West said his players were complacent and lack the energy to overcome the Danes
‘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,’ West added.
The 46-year-old, who had a brief spell in England with Derby County, now practices as a Christian pastor in his native Nigeria.