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Twenty years today, the Super Eagles lost heavily to Denmark in a France ’98 World Cup. British newspaper, Daily Mail has revealed that one of the prime actors on the match, Taribo West has claimed that the Nigerian players “were tired after overworking themselves with women, the night before the match.”

According to the report, Taribo made the hilarious confession of why his side lost 1998 World Cup clash against Denmark after sneaking groupies into training camp.

Before the match, the Super Eagles were one of the fairytale stories of the competition 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 Inter and AC Milan 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 co 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.

‘I read reports about Eagles visiting nightclubs and driving limousines during the World Cup in France, honestly, I don’t know about that,’ Taribo told the Punch.

‘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. 

Nigeria’s popular side included stars such as former Bolton showman Jay Jay Okocha and ex Arsenal and Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu.

‘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.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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