The Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi announced his 23-men list for 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the last day allowed, on June 2, 2014, Monday.
However, the lists will become official only after being approved and published by FIFA on June 5, 2014.
* Super Eagles after a tough friendly against Scotland in London, May 28, 2014. Photo credit – FIFA
The decisions of the Big Boss sparked lots of controversy. It was unavoidable, as Nigeria is currently full of talented players, and Keshi could have easily combined at least two more or less equal, powerful and competitive squads for the World Cup. But what was the most surprising, disappointing in the list?
Alloy Chukwuemeka, the General Manager of Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC, is in general satisfied with Keshi’s decision, but criticised dropping of “the dazzling winger Ejike Uzoenyi”.
Management of Enugu Rangers were also surprised that Uzoenyi, who was voted as the Most Valuable Player at the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) South Africa, and Sunday Mba, who contributed a lot to Nigeria’s triumph at 2013 AFCON, will not go to Brazil.
Foster Chime, a media officer of the Flying Antelopes, applauded inclusion of ex-Rangers’ players, Uche Nwofor and Michael Uchebo, to the final list, added that Keshi “knows what he wants, and he knows how to succeed”.
The reaction of Eagles’ fans was similar to the reaction of specialists.
I pity him… He dropped mba, n selected ameobi, nsofor :(:(:(RT @dynapec01: I just hope nd pray nemesis doesn’t catch up wiv KESHI
— Tobi *U*knight’d (@tobi_jat) June 3, 2014
— Owolabi atoyegbe (@pablonoah) June 3, 2014
I respect Stephen Keshi’s decision but I retain the right to make my opinion know. Haba! #MTNfootball
— JJ, Omojuwa (@omojuwa) June 3, 2014
Against Scotland, Michael Babatunde was. Better than Ezoenyi. Keshi knows best sha
— Naeto Montana (@NaetoHovy) June 3, 2014
However, many Eagles’ were less emotional, defended the coach:
Shame on you people, that are questioning Keshi’s integrity, with cheap allegations of tribalism and bribery.
— Ifreke Inyang (@Ifreke) June 3, 2014
Just like we trusted keshi when he picked @mba_sunday for afcon, let’s just hope he knows what he’s doing nd trust him
— Dami (@dabromo2009) June 3, 2014
It would be recalled that the Super Eagles are drawn in Group F at the mundial. The team starts its race for the trophy on June 16, 2014, at 20:00 (Nigeria time) with the match against Iran. The following opponents of Keshi’s boys are Bosnia & Herzegovina and Argentina. Note that FIFA has the right to postpone matches due to heat.