Former Nigerian striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, says he won’t apologise for an open goal he missed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The Yak, as Aiyegbeni is known amongst fans, had missed what many considered a ‘simple’ tap-in during the Super Eagles must-win World Cup Group B match between Nigeria and South Korea at the Durban Stadium on June 22, 2010.
The goal could have put Nigeria ahead but with the encounter ending 2-2, many Nigerians are yet to forgive the former Portsmouth and Everton striker for the miss.
Speaking on Wednesday during an interview tagged Live with Yak on NationTV, Aiyegbeni said he has no apology for the miss.
He said, “I won’t apologise at all. Why should I? I have scored so many goals for Nigeria too. I have sacrificed a lot for the country. Did anyone apologise to me?
“I cannot apologise because it wasn’t a deliberate miss. I seriously wanted to score. But it wasn’t to be. So many have strikers have missed chances too and nobody will apologise so I won’t.”
In May 2020, the 38-year-old revealed that Nigerians still send him messages to express annoyance over the miss.
“I felt bad when I missed it but people still talk about it and are saying if I had scored, we should have gone to the next round,” the former Everton forward said in May 2020.
“Even if I scored, are we going to win the World Cup? That I am not sure of.
“I have sored so many goals for Nigeria and even when people thought we will never qualify for the World Cup, I stood up to be counted.
“I have always done my best to help the country but it’s weird that people still send me messages till date even on social media about that miss.
“They would write things like ‘I never forget o, I never forget the goal wey you miss o’ [I haven’t forgotten the goal you missed], ‘we no go forgive you o’ [we won’t forgive you], etc and I would be like wow.”
Aiyegbeni, who is Nigeria’s third highest goalscorer with scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for the Super Eagles, retired from football in 2017.
He started his career with Julius Berger FC in Lagos as a teenager in the Nigerian Premier League. He was later loaned to Portuguese club Gil Vicente. He made 250 appearances in the English Premier League, playing for Everton FC, Middlesborough FC, Portsmouth FC, and Blackburn.
He made four African Cup of Nations appearances for Nigeria and also played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
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