Ajibola Otegbeye says he respects Austin Eguavoen's decision to resign from Sunshine Stars, but blames it solely on 'poor officiating of the referees' in the Nigerian topflight.
Just after a 45-day engagement with the Akure side, Eguavoen left his post as the handler of the Owena Whales.
And with some section of the public faulting the choice of the ex-Enyimba handler, his former striker believes the former Nigeria international walked away 'to save his career'.
"Eguavoen leaving Sunshine Stars is not from the management. There was no friction between him and the management of the club but according to him it was because of the poor officiating of the referees. That’s why he left," Otegbeye told Goal.
"Everyone has their policy and everybody has his own style. The same way you can't dictate for me, that's how I can't dictate for you. I think the man did that just to save his career.
"Okay, if such thing happens again in his next match [and we lose] people won't consider those factors and would lay the blames by him. So he had to do that to protect his own image.
"Since he took over at Sunshine the officiating has been poor. And it looked as if we had offended the officials. So it was the officiating of the referees that made him resign from the post.''
The attacker also lamented referees' officiating in losses against Shooting Stars and Plateau United, reported to have triggered the decision made by the former Super Eagles coach.
"The officiating is very bad. It is glaring," he continued.
"How can we score a good goal in Ibadan [against Shooting Stars] and it would be disallowed?
"The goal we conceded against Plateau United; how can a player that was injured and taken out enter into the field without the permission of the referee and still score a goal with his hand, and it stood? We even got a penalty and it wasn't awarded?''
On how the 17th placed side would cope with the announcement of a third coach, Akin Olowookere, in the ongoing season, Otegbeye whose goal was unable to save Sunshine Stars from a 3-1 loss against Kano Pillars on Sunday says: "I think [Eguavoen's exit] might affect us.
"Because let's analyse things carefully; the beginning of the season it was a new coach that was in charge, then he was brought in midway into the season and it took him less than two month before he resigned," he continued.
"So another one [Olowookere] is in as the caretaker of the team. It has been three coaches so far and it is really bad for the players.
"The major problem is the officiating that should be taken care of so that the league would be more better.''