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23 days to 2013 South Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria cries fouls as Chelsea moves to delay Mikel, Moses

By News Express on 28/12/2012

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There is unsettling news from Stanford Bridge. At a time when Nigeria is still battling with the likely absence of Millwall’s Danny Shittu and Newcastle’s Shola Ameobi from the Nations Cup, Chelsea have indicated that they may delay the arrival of Mikel Obi and Victor Moses for the championship.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has spoken of his desire to keep Mikel and Victor Moses till at least January 9 for their FA Cup tie against Southampton and Swansea before releasing them for the Nations Cup, according to Britain’s Daily Mail.

Mikel and Moses, integral players since Benitez took control at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard said: “The tournament starts on the 19th (January), so they will go one or two weeks before. Maybe we can manage to keep them a little bit longer. We will talk with them. They know sometimes the players do not need to go early.

But at least one week before the 19th, they have to be there.”

However, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told that they have not been informed of such. 

“Well, we have not been contacted by Chelsea over their wish to delay the release of our players for the Nations Cup,” Olajire said. “The players are expected latest by January 4 according to the plan and schedule of the coach, so if anything will change, we have to be notified by the club.”

Mikel and Moses have been granted permission to stay in London until after the New Year, but Benitez is negotiating to keep them for as long as possible as his team become embroiled in a cluttered fixture list.

The Blues will start their defence of the FA Cup at Southampton on January 5, four days before the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at home to Swansea. 

Interim manager Benitez accepts he is unlikely to have them around by the time they play Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on January 12.

Photo: Moses (on top) and Mike (left) celebrating with the Eagles.

Source News Express

Posted 29/12/2012 02:11:41 AM


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