Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials are up in arms after Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi failed to honour president Goodluck Jonathan's gathering.
Nigerian's citizen number one had invited the squad that took third place at the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) to his villa to hand them bonuses.
A N1,5 million reward was announced by Jonathan at the event, but the Eagles boss was not there to receive the good news which did not sit well with NFF officials.
However, Keshi has defended himself saying that he needed time away from football with his family who are based in the USA.
"Because of CHAN, we missed the Christmas and New Year holidays," the former Nigeria captain told The Tribune.
"This is a World Cup year in which we shall be very busy, I have just taken a couple of weeks off to cool off.
"As soon as I am back in Nigeria, it is serious business," he added.