Nigeria Football Federation members are expecting only the needed players for the World Cup qualifier against Kenya on March 23 in Calabar.
A member of the Federation told The PUNCH that there would not be any room for a long list of players to camp and be dropped just before the game as coach Stephen Keshi had done with the games prior to the Africa Nations Cup final in South Africa.
“Of course we will look at the list from Keshi as in the past but the key thing may not be the type of players he needs but largely on how the Federation can also accommodate his plans. In this time of lean purse, we don’t expect to see 35 players called up for the game.
“The encouragement now is that Keshi already has his core players and so he is zeroing in on exactly those he wants for this game and a few others he wants to give another opportunity to prove their worth,” he said.
It was gathered that Shola Ameobi who withdrew from the trip to South Africa may get a call with this game or soon after given what Keshi has remarked about the player since they returned from South Africa.
On Monday, the NFF said that over N100m (more than $600,000) is needed for the match. The Federation General Secretary Musa Amadu told MTNFootball.com, “It would cost us well over a hundred million to prosecute the game.
“We are not relenting in ensuring that all goes well with the Nigeria Kenya qualifier. We are confident the money would come.”
On the unpaid AFCON bonus of over $1m, Musa assured that it would be paid but no time frame was given.
“We would pay the bonuses very soon at least before the Eagles next game,” he said.
The Federation will decide on the club that owns AFCON hero Sunday Mba on Wednesday in Abuja, officials said.
Controversy has been raging among several clubs over the ownership of Mba, who scored the winner against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter finals and the only goal in the final against Burkina Faso in South Africa last month.
Already, the NFF committee has invited officials of two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba, Enugu Rangers, Dolphins and Warri Wolves, along with the player himself.
“The committee will sit on Wednesday and we will look at all papers presented by all parties, and be guided by the rules, without fear of favour,” Mohammed Sanusi, NFF director of competitions said.