Nigeria announce provisional 30-man squad for World Cup; Odemwingie and Ameobi in
Coach Stephen Keshi announced Nigeria’s 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Stoke City striker Peter Odemwingie has been recalled to the squad after ending his feud with the manager. Odemwingie will play for Nigeria for the first time since 2012. Newcastle’s Shola Ameobi also made the cut along with 33 year old Joseph Yobo, who hasn’t played since last year’s African Cup of Nations. Yobo is set to captain the side.
The squad consists of 19 players who played in last year’s African Cup of Nations including Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Liverpool’s Victor Moses who have both had disappointing seasons for their clubs. Hull City’s Sone Aluko misses out despite having a decent season.
The most surprising decision by Keshi was to exclude Villareal striker Ikechukwu Uche from the squad. Uche is one of Nigeria’s most reliable strikers and is 4th among their top goalscorers list. His exclusion comes as a surprise to many including Governor Chief Theodore Orji who has asked Keshi to reconsider his decision. However, Uche himself has no hard feelings towards the manager and wants the focus to be on the team.
The Super Eagles are placed in Group F along with Argentina, Iran and Bosnia. They start their campaign on June 16 when they face Iran.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United).
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars).
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Ramon Azeez (Almeria), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Joel Obi (Parma), Nnamdi Oduamadi (Varese), Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis), Sunday Mba (Bastia), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce); Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona), Peter Odemwingie (Stoke), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen).
— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) May 8, 2014