The ex-Nigerian international has finally lifted the lid on the circumstances behind his unceremonious exit as the manager of the Dutch side
Former Super Eagles midfielder Sunday Oliseh has revealed that racism, unpaid allowances, and other unprofessional conduct from Fortuna Sittard’s Turkish owner forced him out of the club three years ago.
Oliseh retired from football aged just 31, after a brilliant career that saw him feature for top European clubs, including Juventus, Ajax, and Borussia Dortmund.
In December 2016, the former Gent star arrived as manager of Fortuna Sittard, then in the Dutch second division, after spells as Eupen’s technical director and Nigeria’s senior national team head coach.
But with Sittard doing excellently and on course for promotion to the Eredivisie, Oliseh was surprisingly fired in February 2018. The Nigerian reportedly claimed he was booted out because he refused to participate in illegal activities at the club.
The 1994 Afcon winner has, however, decided to set the record straight.
In an interview with VoetbalNieuws, Oliseh said that despite meeting a Fortuna Sittard team that was almost dead, without any structure and bottom of the league rankings, his goal was to take the side to the Eredivisie.
Even though the owner thought he was drunk to have such lofty ambitions, the Olympic gold medalist got down to work and got his team punching above their weight.
But trouble started when Oliseh guided Sittard towards the top of the table, and the press started singing his praises.
“The owner couldn’t accept that, and then suddenly we seemed to be living in a movie,” Oliseh recounted.
“You couldn’t believe what was going on during that period.
“He (the Turkish owner) said straight to my face that he couldn’t believe they (the press) said it was me who brought the club to that level and not him because he took care of the money.
“I never talked about that because I didn’t want to give him that publicity. Because nobody knows his name, I don’t think you know it either.
“The man was looking for attention when I wanted to show that I could achieve something with the boys.
“But a few weeks before we were promoted to the (Dutch) Premier League, he decided to proceed with a dismissal.”
Oliseh has not managed another club or country since leaving Fortuna Sittard.