Sunday Mba, who helped secure a third CAF Africa Cup of Nations last year, has failed to make the cut for Nigeria’s final squad for the FIFA World Cup™. Mba, who scored the winning goal in the 2013 Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso, was late in joining the Super Eagles’ training squad in London last week because of a visa hitch.
But Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said the midfielder has since not shown enough desire to be part of the 23-man squad going to Brazil.
“His lateness to camp contributed (to his missing out) but outside that he did not show the hunger, the fight, we expected for him,” explained Keshi. “We have only two and half weeks to prepare for the World Cup and he was not giving us what we wanted. He was very relaxed and it was unlike him.”
The six other players who will not be on the flight to Brazil next week are Joel Obi (Inter Milan), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan), Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow), Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves)and Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers).
Skipper Joseph Yobo and striker Peter Odemwingie will feature in South America after being recalled following a long absence. Surprise inclusions are Ukraine-based forward Babatunde Michael and Kunle Odunlami, who features for Nigerian side Sunshine Stars.
Nigeria are drawn in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia Herzegovina and Iran. They kick off their campaign on 16 June against Iran.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille/FRA), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva /ISR)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco/FRA), Efe Ambrose (Celtic/SCO), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor/TUR), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough/ENG), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC/ISR), Joseph Yobo (Norwich City/ENG), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio/ITA), Gabriel Reuben (Beveren/BEL), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge/BEL), Ramon Azeez (Almeria/SPA)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United/ENG), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce/TUR), Peter Odemwingie, (Stoke City/ENG), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen/NED), Babatunde Michael (Volyn/UKR)
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