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Osimhen vs Finidi: NFF advised on way forward

Nigerians and supporters of the Super Eagles recently witnessed a feud between Victor Osimhen and Finidi George.

The dispute caused a major stir in the Nigeria football industry as both men got embroiled in a bitter war of words on social media.

The saga started earlier this month after reports emerged online that Finidi, the resigned Super Eagles coach, had supposedly questioned Osimhen’s commitment to the national team.

This follows Nigeria’s disastrous 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic this month.

But reports later emerged that Finidi never mentioned Osimhen’s name when he talked about players’ commitment to the team.

Recall that Nigeria played a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Uyo and lost 2-1 against Benin Republic in Ivory Coast.

Osimhen, who missed both matches due to injury, hit back at Finidi over his comments on his commitment towards the Super Eagles.

Finidi had felt the Napoli striker could still have managed to play the two matches against South Africa and Benin Republic, respectively.

But Osimhen took to his Instagram live to fire back at Finidi.

The 25-year-old said: “I asked Finidi George to allow me stay with the players in the camp, but Finidi asked me not to bother that I should stay with my family. Now after two bad games, everybody is now blaming me.

“I know how many injuries I have played with for Nigeria and I played my heart out but after two bad games, everybody is attacking me.”

Osimhen also said he no longer has respect for Finidi, who has also played for the Nigeria national team in the past.

He even hurled curses at fans, declaring himself a fearless grown man.

Following Osimhen’s public rant against Finidi on Instagram live, former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peterside Idah, called on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to prevail on the player to apologize to the former Enyimba coach.

“He [Victor Osimhen] needs to come outside and apologize for the things he said to Finidi,” Peterside said in a short video on X.

“Finidi George is a legend. You don’t just widen your mouth and say things that are unpalatable. If you have issues with the man, pick up your phone and call him. That’s what responsible people do.

“Osimhen has just shown a bit of irresponsibility, and that’s unexpected. I think the NFF should call Osimhen and ask him to apologize. He has to apologize for saying things.”

Also, former international Victor Anichebe said Osimhen was wrong with his public criticism of Finidi.

Anichebe said: “This is something we really lack in Nigeria. We just love negativity and drama. Victor Osumhen was wrong to come out publicly. I’m sure he understands this now, but in the heat of the moment, it’s difficult.

“This could’ve been done in private, even though I fully understand he doesn’t want anyone to tarnish his image and commitment that he has worked tirelessly to maintain.”

Anichebe also hit out at the NFF and called for the disbandment of the football house.

“That being said, the whole federation is a complete and utter mess, completely clueless, lacking foresight, no clue about football. What was their hiring process? Does anyone even know? Nepotism at its finest. How can results be achieved with a leaderless bunch at the helm? The whole organization needs to be disbanded and started again,” he added.

On his part, Nigeria international, Odion Ighalo, urged Osimhen to remain ‘calm’.

The former Manchester United striker advised the former Lille star as he commented on Instagram: “Boy calm down and end the live.”

Similarly, some fans of the Nigeria national team, also took to social media to ask Osimhen to apologize to Finidi but the attacker is yet to do so as of today.

DAILY POST reports that a few days after Osimhen’s outburst against Finidi, the 53-year-old gaffer resigned from his position as Super Eagles head coach.

Also, a few days after Finidi’s resignation, some reports in some quarters emerged online that the NFF had banned Osimhen from the national team following his feud with Finidi.

But, NFF, in a statement by its General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, stated that the football house did not initiate any move to ban Osimhen.

Sanusi said: “The NFF hereby implores the media to join hands with the body to positively resolve issues and then focus on the big picture all the time, rather than needlessly escalate certain matters.

“There was no official communication from the NFF, yet some persons have gone to town to talk about a ban on Osimhen from the National Team. This is not good at all.”

“Our focus presently is to resolve all matters around the Super Eagles and be able to look ahead with confidence to the 2025 AFCON qualifiers and the remaining six matches of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series.”

However, DAILY POST reports what implications the recent feud between Osimhen and Finidi will have on Super Eagles as the NFF has so far failed to sanction the reigning African Footballer of the Year for his public outburst?

Speaking with DAILY POST, respected journalist, Femi Fabunmi, urged the NFF to temper justice with mercy and forgive Osimhen regardless if he apologizes for his outburst or not.

According to him, NFF and the Super Eagles should avoid any distraction that could worsen the already bad situation, adding that the goal should be to qualify Nigeria for the 2026 World Cup.

“Firstly, I condemn in totality Osimhen’s outburst against his boss Finidi George.

“Apart from Finidi being the former coach of the Super Eagles, he was with the team for close to two years. He was the assistant to Jose Peseiro, so they know each other and so for that singular reason, Osimhen shouldn’t have raged the way he did,” Fabunmi said.

“Osimhen reacted to a report that has been adjudged to be false. Even though he might have one or two reasons to rant or to defend himself, he should’ve done it in a responsible way.

“Osimhen is the current African Footballer of the Year and so he should lead by example. He should live a lifestyle worthy of emulation.

“Well, Osimhen has helped Nigeria with his goals and Nigeria has also helped him.

“If he was not given the platform of the Golden Eaglets, maybe he wouldn’t have been as popular as he is at the moment. So Osimhen should have probably tread with caution. He shouldn’t have gone full blown against Finidi George over a report that wasn’t confirmed.

“As for the NFF, they have come out to say they wouldn’t ban Osimhen. Because at this point Nigeria is in a very dire situation. Nigeria have to win all their six remaining games if they must nurse any hope of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“So banning or sanctioning him at this point in time will further exacerbate Nigeria’s situation. So I think Osimhen should be forgiven regardless of if he apologizes or not he shouldn’t be forgiven.”

Any advice for other Super Eagles players and the NFF regarding the feud between Osimhen and Finidi?

Fabunmi added, “At least other players would’ve seen reactions that followed Osimhen’s outburst. I want to rate it 70/30. 70 percent for Finidi George and 30 percent for Osimhen.

“So that goes to show that people don’t respect players who exhibit that kind of behavior or attitude.

“I am sure that Osimhen would’ve learnt his lessons. Such wouldn’t repeat itself. NFF should just temper justice with mercy. Forgive Osimhen. Let’s move on.

“The goal is to qualify for the World Cup. So we should do away with any kind of distractions that can further worsen the already bad situation,” he affirmed.

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