Oketola wants Benin call-up


Oketola, a Nigerian by birth, has not played for his adopted homeland’s national team in the past six months due to a knee operation and a delay in the start of his Thanda career.

“Prior to my latest discussion with the Benin management at the weekend, they were under the impression that I am still struggling with the injury because they don’t watch South African football there.

“Worse for me is the fact that the new coach has never seen me play since he arrived and has been happy with his team because they have been winning.

“However, the Benin FA has made him aware that I am here and so I should be making my return when the qualifiers continue after the draw.

“I last played for the national team at the Afcon finals in Ghana, but now I am ready to return because I am injury free and playing again for my club.

“I just hope that the coach makes an effort to come and see me play at my club because at this stage his mindset is on France-based players, where most Benin players ply their trade. He also comes from France,” says Oketola.

Oketola has also expressed his excitement about the miraculous run that Benin have had in Group 3, where they have dumped Angola and Uganda and succeeded in qualifying for the next round of the tournament.

“I knew that we would win this group because we have a good team. But now is the time for me to also join in because I want to see Benin surprise everyone and qualify for the World Cup here in South Africa,” he says.

The 25-year-old was influential when Benin played at the Afcon finals in Ghana and has also gradually been showing his quality for Thanda this season.