Posted by News Express | 25 December 2012 | 3,314 times
For Nigeria’s manager, Stephen Keshi, it was a Christmas to forget as he was rocked on the eve of the celebration by the unsettling news that big defender Danny Shittu and top striker Shola Ameobi may be prevented from starring for the Super Eagles at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Millwall manager, Kenny Jackett, had confidently declared that Shittu would reject the chance to play for Nigeria after earning a recall last Friday.
“I don’t think he’s going to go and I don’t think he’s been in touch with them. At the moment that’s the decision,” Jackett said of the 32-year-old centre-back. “It was a surprise but it shows how well Danny has done. He’s only in the preliminary squad so that’s going to be cut down,” the coach added.
Also, Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, was quoted on Christmas Eve saying he has held talks with Ameobi to skip the Africa Cup of Nations. He claimed that Keshi knew why he would not release Ameobi, who helped the club secure a vital win in the English Premier League on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers.
Keshi has however 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. He 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,” he further said.
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