Brazil 2014: Surprises As Martins, Taiwo Makes Keshi’s 38 Man List (See Full List)
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and coach of the Siper Eagles, Stephen Keshi have been locked in horns over the names of players that should make the squad for the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil.
While the list is yet to be made official, Tribunesport said it has seen the list believed to be authentic and has gone ahead to name the players that made it.
The surprising thing is that the list includes names of almost forgotten players like Obafemi Martins and Taye Taiwo. Martins.
While Obafemi Martins who plays club football at Seattle Sounders in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US, last played for Nigeria in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kenya in March 2013, Taiye Taiwo who plays for Bursaspor of Turkey defender Taiwo, on the other hand, last represented his country in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda, in 2012.
Also, midfielder Haruna Lukman (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), who last played for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, is on the list, likewise Inter Milan’s Joel Obi, who made his debut for Nigeria in 2011. West Brom of England’s Victor Anichebe and Obinna Nsofor are also not left out.
While Anichebe had in the past claimed that Keshi had never contacted him for national assignments, Nsofor has played a number of matches under the current Eagles coach, the last being the March 5 friendly against Mexico in Atlanta, USA.
In all, 19 members of the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa are part of the provisional list, with the major casuality being captain Joseph Yobo. Yobo has not been part of the Super Eagles since the South Africa success. He was invited for the March 5 friendly against Mexico but had to be replaced with Leon Balogun. Yobo, on loan to Norwich FC from Fenerbahce of Turkey is still nursing an injury.
When reminded that some of the players on the provisional list have been out of the national team for some time, Tribunesport source lays emphasis on the provisional status of the list as the list, with time, will be reduced to 23 for the World Cup proper.
“Don’t forget too, that the list is only a provisional list. It is not the final list. After 30 players’ names from this list are presented to FIFA in May, another seven will still be weeded from that list before the mundial begins in June,” Tribunesport source said.
In another development, Tribunesport gathered that all the home-based players on the list but who were not part of the Super Eagles team that travelled to the US in March for the friendly against Mexico have all been taken to the US embassy for visa application process, just as arrangements are being made for them to obtain UK visa.
This is to safeguard any delay in case they make the list of the 30-man squad that will, in the pre-World Cup preparations, fight for the final slots.
Nigeria’s World Cup preparations will take the team through the United Kingdom and the USA.
The full list
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