Nigerian forwards Peter Osazie Odemwingie and Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins are missing from Coach Stephen Keshi’s list for Faro camp.
The 32-man list, which contains 14 home-based professionals and 18 overseas-based players, was announced on Friday after a meeting with the NFF Technical Committee in Abuja.
The absence of the duo of Odemwingie and Martins, though conspicuous, is, however, not surprising.
Odemwingie, who has a total of 108 career goals in 350 games (as at press time), has not donned the green shirt since February when he played for Nigeria in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali. The West Brom star also had a fall out with Eagles former coach, Samson Siasia, and the Nigerian press after the country failed to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup.
Martins, on the other hand, after a long absence from the team, was unable to impress Keshi in a November friendly against Venezuela. The coach later warned that the Levante striker may not find his way back into the squad if he does not raise his game.
The eagles who made Keshi’s list will battle for 23 shirts in the Super Eagles’ squad to the 29th Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa, taking place between 19th January – 10th February 2013.
Coach Keshi is expected to forward his final 23-man list to Africa’s football-governing body, CAF, on or before the January 9 deadline.
Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green, told journalists the 14 “home boys” will travel to Portugal to be joined by 10 oveseas-based professionals for the clash with Catalonia on January 2, with the remaining eight foreign-based stars to link up with the squad on January 4.
THE FULL LIST OF PLAYERS:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel); Austin Ejide
(Hapoel Be’er Sheba, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria);
Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC, Nigeria)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (FC Braga, Portugal); Juwon Oshaniwa
(Ashdod FC, Israel); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC, Nigeria); Joseph
Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Solomon
Kwambe (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves,
Nigeria); Danny Shittu (Millwall FC, England); Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den
Haag, Netherlands); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)
Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Nosa Igiebor (Real
Betis, Spain); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Raheem Lawal (Adana
Demirspor, Turkey); Obiora Nwankwo (Calcio Padova, Italy); Fegor Ogude
(Valerenga FC, Norway); Reuben Gabriel (Kano Pillars, Nigeria); Rabiu
Ibrahim (Celtic FC, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak
Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Victor Moses
(Chelsea FC, England); Uche Kalu (Rizespor, Turkey); Bright Dike
(Portland Timbers, USA); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle FC, England);
Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers,
Nigeria); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)