The Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi on Thursday named Skipper Joseph Yobo and 10 other overseas-based professionals for the three 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches coming up next month.
Some ‘big’ names were however left out of the list including that of Chelsea mid fielder Mikel Obi and 17-goals Black Burn Rovers hero, Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
Meanwhile Yobo, who stars for Fenerbahce of Turkey, is one of the only three defenders. Israel-based Efe Ambrose and Portugal-based Elderson Echiejile are the other defenders named by coach Keshi.
For Goalkeeping, Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide have been called.
Victor Moses and Fegor Ogude would play as midfielders in the qualifying matches; and the strikers are Omatsone Aluko, Ikechukwu Uche, Ahmed Musa and John Utaka.
Keshi explained at the world press conference in Abuja that the overseas contingent will be joined by 18 of the 22 players who will travel to Lima for the international friendly against Peru taking place on May 23.
Meanwhile the Super Eagles camp was thrown into frenzy when news filtered in, that the team captain Joseph Yobo, picked up an injury during a Cup game for his Turkish club, Fernahce on Wednesday night.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi who was among the first to pick up the sad news quickly put a call across to his captain to know the severity of the injury. Initially, Yobo did not respond to his calls but he soon called the coach to inform him that there might be no cause for alarm as his club’s medical team has assured that he would be ready on time for the game against Namibia.
However, a final decision will be taken when the medics put Yobo through a thorough medical checkup on Thursday night.
“After that I can come out to say whether he would be ready or not, but we have backups as always; but I want all my players in good health whether they are called to play now or in the future, because they are Nigerians and must be encouraged at all times,” Keshi said.
ON THE RADAR
Keshi also announced that despite the fact that senior players like Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Osaze Odemwengie, John Mikel Obi and Taiye Taiwo were not listed in his 11 man squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Namibia, Rwanda and Malawi, they still remain part of the national team and can be called up in the course of the qualifiers.
“They are Nigerians and they have played their part very well and may still be called any moment to don the national colours but for now we want to try out the ones that we have named today and see how well they can help the course of our national team.”