|*HEADACHE: Keshi must prune his bogus list down to 23.|
NFF Orders Keshi To Focus On Malawi Cracker
The Nigeria Football Federation has instructed Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, to focus primarily on earning Nigeria a 2014 FIFA World Cup finals ticket, before the business of full preparation for the 2014 African Nations Championship can begin.
Against the foregoing, rising from its meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the NFF Technical and Development Committee told Coach Keshi to come up with a 23-man list for the World Cup cracker against Malawi in Calabar on 7 September, and do away with the jumbo list of 42 that he had earlier submitted.
The former Nigeria captain has been told in no uncertain terms that there would be no elaborate camp for 24 home-based players, earlier scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Sunday, out of which only five will make the shortlist for the match in Calabar.
Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, explained: “We must be very pragmatic and take it one step at a time. The 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket is very important
to Nigeria and Nigerians. Yes, we have qualified for the African Nations Championship, for the first time ever, and we very much appreciate it.
“But there are three very crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches that we must prosecute successfully to qualify for Brazil before we can start the build-up to the African Nations Championship.
Our smart money must be on focusing hard, and without any distraction, on the World Cup ticket.”
Keshi is expected to harmonise his list and submit a reviewed document to the NFF before the end of the week.
Keshi’s Full List of 42 Players Released Before NFF’s Order
Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC)
Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine
Stars); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers); Yinka Adedeji (Sharks FC); Ganiyu Ogungbe (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Solomon Jabason (Akwa United); Olufemi Oladapo (Shooting Stars); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Moses Orkuma (Lobi Stars)
Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Mbah Ezekiel (Akwa United); Barnabas Imenger (Lobi Stars); Izu Azuka (Sunshine Stars); Dimgba Stanley (Kwara United); Osadaiye Joseph (Warri Wolves).
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa) Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Fegor Ogude
(Valerenga FC, Norway); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo, Netherlands).