The two players are among the significant names excluded from the team which will be playing the Catalona team today.
Odemwingie took to the internet to express his outrage at being excluded from the team but has since regretted his action, while Martins has accepted coach Stephen Keshi’s decision in good faith.
Ezeugo told The PUNCH that Keshi could have avoided the ensuing spat had he handled the situation differently.
“Keshi is the boss and he has every right to do whatever he so chooses. I would have handled Osaze’s case way differently, with decency and class. Osaze and Martins in particular could still help Nigeria clinch the AFCON trophy,” Ezeugo said.
The former Enugu Rangers player added, “We can pretend all we like and feel we have a million players to replace them but things don’t work that way. These players deserve better; they’re not a drunkard’s empty bottles that we can discard anyhow we like.
“These rejected players can still be the cornerstone of a winning team. I would have handled this matter differently and it would not be subjected to national debate. It would remain between the players and I, the NFF would not even have heard of it.”
Ezeugo said it would be hard for Nigeria to win the tournament with a team largely composed of rookie players at the continental level.
“When you’re at the Nations Cup, you got a chance like every other team participating. But it’s hard to win such big tournaments with untested bunch of rookies. A blend of youth and experienced players is key to Nigeria’s success,” he said.