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Ameobi must play for Nigeria, says Keshi  print

Published on December 25, 2012 by   ·   3 Comments


Tunde Oyedele/sports editor

It’s country versus club controversy once again and FIFA may have to wade in for arbitration as Nigeria insists that Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi must play in the Nations Cup campaign scheduled to begin 19 January in South Africa.

Yesterday, Newcastle United Coach, Alan Pardew opened the controversy when he said Ameobi would not be available for Nigerian duty, because the club needed him.

He even added that Eagles coach Stephen Keshi knew why he would hold tight to Ameobi, who helped the club secure a vital win in the English Premier League on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers

However, Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi today ordered Ameobi to ignore Pardew and report at the team’s Faro camp in Portugal for Nigeria’s final preparation for the African Cup of Nations.

Shola Ameobi: tug of war between Nigeria and Newcastle

Keshi insisted that the fast attacker will be on duty for the Eagles in South Africa.

“I spoke to Shola Ameobi before I included him in our provisional list and we have been talking about his availability for the African Cup of Nations,” Keshi said from Eagles’ Bolton White Hotel camp in Abuja.

“Ameobi told me he wants to play for Nigeria and I have told him to report with the other foreign-based stars as scheduled on 4 January, 2013,” the Nigeria coach said.

Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya also spoke with P.M.NEWS on Nigeria’s position about Ameobi’s availability for the Nations Cup.

“The Nigeria Technical Crew heard what Pardew said about Ameobi. We know his club need him for their English Premier League matches, but Pardew knows Ameobi is also crucial to Nigeria’s campaign at the African Cup of Nations,” Alaiya said.

The Eagles Image Maker pointed at the FIFA rule, which mandates all clubs to release players for international tournament involving their countries.

“The FIFA rule makes it clear that our players must be released by their clubs at least 14 days to a major tournament. Pardew knows the implication of stopping Ameobi from reporting at the Nigeria camp,” Alaiya noted.

Ameobi, who was cleared by FIFA to play for Nigeria this year, featured in an international friendly match against Venezuela in Miami, Florida last month.

After the match, which Nigeria won 3-1, Ameobi disclosed that he has achieved his childhood dream to play for his fatherland, and promised to play for the country anytime the nation needs his services.

Ameobi, who played for the U-20 team of England some years ago, was born in Zaria in the northern part of Nigeria.

His parents took him to England when he was just five years old.

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Posted by on December 25, 2012, 12:04 pm. Filed under Football, International, News, Sports, Today's Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments for “Ameobi must play for Nigeria, says Keshi”

  1. Yhemie

    ‘…After the match, which Nigeria won 3-1, Ameobi disclosed that he has achieved his childhood dream to play for his fatherland, and promised to play for the country anytime the nation needs his services.”

    It is so so sad that this guy that chose to play for England at the prime of his age has now switched his loyalty to Nigeria. It is incredible!
    If I were the coach, regardless of his current form, I will never invite him to play for Nigeria. Inviting him to the team is a slap on all Nigerians.
    We begged him to play for us but he chose England ahead of Nigeria, now that he has been used and dumped by the English, he is now pledging his loyalty to his ” fatherland”. What a shame!

  2. Francis

    Ameobi doesn’t deserve to play for Nigeria as he turned the country down earlier in his career. He only accepted to play for Nigeria as a last resort, seeing that he has little or no chance of playing for England.

  3. “Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi today ordered Ameobi to ignore Pardew and report at the team’s Faro camp in Portugal for Nigeria’s final preparation for the African Cup of Nations.” Stephen Keshi’s approaches to players and foreign coaches are devoid of an iota of diplomacy. How can he order a player from the services of his coach? Does Keshi want to create acrimony between Ameobi and his coach?

    Also, it is a pity that the crisis generated by Keshi as a result of his dropping star players as Osaze, Obagoal and our only left-footed Taye Taiwo politically could hunt us, when Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, et al are going to South Africa with their very best. The truth is that we don’t have a team. Though we played Catalonia one-all draw, poor ball possession and attacking sharpness that Osaze always gave us were lacking in the squad.

    How long shall we continue to be mere participants in AFCON or make costly mistakes that would only result in the NFF sacking and changing coaches? It is an evil wind that blows no man good.

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