Keshi Set To Release Nations Cup List Today
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi will release the final list of players that will represent Nigeria at the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa today.
Nigeria will play Cape Verde in the final tune-up match in Portugal today and the match will be televised live on SuperSport by 8.55pm. The Eagles are due to land in South Africa on January 16 and will campaign in the same group C as defending champions Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
But ahead of the public presentation of the list by Keshi, several lists emerged yesterday in Nigeria through the media, with one of them claiming that Bright Dike and Brown Ideye were dropped from the team.
If the said list is actually the one Nigerians have been waiting for, it means that Keshi might have handed a last minute surprise to Nigerians with the dropping of the players.
Eagles media officer, Ben Alaiya however said yesterday that the coach was aware of some list going round in Nigeria, adding that they were not sent by Keshi.
“We will give out the names of the 23-man squad on Wednesday, I plead with Nigerians to be a patient with us because it’s a difficult thing to do,” he said.
Keshi had spoken highly of the America-based Dike who scored the country’s lone goal against Catalonia last Wednesday in an international friendly match which gave the inkling that the rookie striker could make the cut.
The Minister of Sports Bolaji Abdullahi who arrived in the Faro camp on Tuesday was joined later by the Nigeria Football Federation president Alhaji Aminu Maigari and board member Chris Green to meet with the coach before the final list is sent to the Confederation of African Football on Thursday.
If the list Keshi is going to submit is the one that was seen in Nigeria on Tuesday, Kenneth Omeruo, the Nigeria U-20 defender who stars with Dutch club ADO Den Haag on loan from Chelsea will be making his Nations Cup debut in South Africa.
Five players from the Nigeria Premier League were also included in the list. They are goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim; defenders Godfrey Oboabona and Azubuike Egwuekwe; midfielder Gabriel Reuben as well as forwards Ejide Uzoenyi and Sunday Mba.
Final squad according to the list sighted on Tuesday
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv/ISR), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheba/ISR), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (FC Braga/POR), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC/ISR), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce/TUR), Efe Ambrose (Celtic/SCO), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag/NED), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis/SPA), Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio/ITA), Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor/TUR), Obiora Nwankwo (Calcio Padova/ITA), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga/NOR), Gabriel Reuben (Kano Pillars)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal/SPA), Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers).