Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi will not take part in Wednesday’s clash against Bafana Bafana due to a minor illness.
The Super Eagles will face Bafana Bafana at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Wednesday and coach Stephen Keshi says the Blues’ man will no longer be part of the squad.
“Mikel will not be playing tomorrow; he has a bit of stomach ache,” said Keshi.
“I don’t have to push him hard for this game because the most important game is in September where I absolutely need him to be 200 percent. So, he’s not going to join us.”
The Super Eagles will host Malawi in a crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 7 September.
Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya has said that Mikel’s Chelsea teammate, Victor Moses and Valenrenga of Norway-based, Fegor Ogude are expected to hit the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani Hotel, Durban camp today.
“Moses and Ogude should be on their way here in South Africa. We expect a full house before our last training session today, ” he said on a Lagos-based radio station, Brila FM early today
According to Alaiya, returnee Eagles, Newcastle FC of England forward, Shola Ameobi and Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia forward, Obinna Nsofor dazzled in training Monday evening. He said if the players can replicate what they did in training, he believes the South Africans would be in trouble on Wednesday.
Speaking on his return to the Eagles, Nsofor said he is happy to link up with his teammates who have since become African champions in his absence, adding that he’s ready to contribute his quota to make the team even stronger.
“As someone who has been in the team, it will not be difficult to fit in again. A lot of the players are my friends, and apart from that, it’s a family thing and this is another opportunity to announce myself. I am excited to be back and it’s almost two years” the former West Ham United of England striker said.
Meanwhile, Coach Keshi has described Nelson Mandela as the quintessential icon and the father of all Africans ahead of the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
“It’s a good feeling when you get a call about participating for Madiba’s game. It’s a great pleasure. Once we got the call, I said yes, I will play and we are glad that they choose us.”
“My image of Madiba when I was growing up was someone that will go out of his way to fight for his people, the sacrifice and the personal challenges notwithstanding. He looked at the future and with age, preferred to end the crisis with peace. He always reminded me of Mahatma Ghandi of India. It was love that brought the people of South Africa to freedom.”