Nigeria's soccer coach Stephen Keshi has listed 32 players to fight for 23 spots in the Super Eagles team to the 29th Africa Cup of Nations taking place in South Africa between 19th January – 10th February 2013.
Following a meeting with the Nigerian Football Federation's technical committee in Abuja on Friday, where he had gone to defend his selections, Mr. Keshi rolled out a squad with 14 home-based professionals and 18 foreign-based players.
The team will likely be captained by Joseph Yobo, who previously represented Nigeria at the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals, and is Nigeria’s highest record holder with 89 international appearances.
Africa’s football-governing body, CAF has given all 16 teams playing in the final tournament of the cup of nations until midnight of January 9 2013 to submit their final list of 23 players for the event.
Already, the NFF has finalised arrangements for international friendlies with Catalonia and Cape Verde, with the first taking place on January 2 while the clash with surprise Cup of Nations finalists Cape Verde will come up on January 9 – the same day Keshi will announce his final list.
Following Friday’s meeting, chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green explained that 14 local players will travel to Portugal to be joined by 10 Europe-based professionals for the match with Catalonia on January 2, with the remaining eight foreign-based stars linking 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)