Amokachi Drops Emenike, Picks Ideye


Fenerbahce striker Emmanuel Emenike and Celtic defender Efe Ambrose will play no part in Nigeria’s friendly games with Bolivia and South Africa following their omission from the 28-man list released by the Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday.

Instead West Brom’s Brown Ideye will be making a return to the team with the games after a long absence. Ideye last played for Nigeria in the 2-2 draw against Italy in November 2013 when he came on as substitute for Victor Moses.

Notable among the overlooked players are Hapoel Be’er Sheva goalkeeper Austin Ejide; Gombe United goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim; injured Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and Villarreal forward Ikechukwu Uche.

The Super Eagles, managed by interim coach, Daniel Amokachi, will host Bolivia at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo on March 26 before taking on Bafana Bafana on March 29 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa.

The list has 10 players from the domestic league and 18 from overseas, with goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama looking more likely to earn his 100th cap.

The Lille shot stopper, a veteran of three World Cup finals, presently has 99 caps, according to the NFF.

Germany-based Anthony Ujah earned a recall to the team following their impressive forms in recent league games, so also is Watford forward Odion Ighalo, who has netted 17 times for the Championship side this season.

Leon Balogun, as well as China-based Aaron Samuel, who scored two goals in the futile campaign for a place at the 30th Africa Cup of Nations, are included.

Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Akeem Latifu and Enyimba duo Kingsley Sokari and Mfon Udoh are also listed.

According to the NFF, Amokachi obliged a special request by injured Victor Moses to be listed as the Stoke City star believed he would recover before the two games.

Meanwhile, The PUNCH learnt late on Tuesday that the Bolivia game has been cancelled following the withdrawal of the South American team from the tie.


Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars); Chidiebere Eze (Ifeanyi Ubah United)

Defenders: Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Nelson Ogbonnaya (Heartland FC); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Akeem Latifu (Aalesunds FC, Norway); Leon Balogun (Darmstadt 98, Germany)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Steven Ukoh (Biel-Bienne FC, Switzerland); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Babatunde Michael (Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine); Joseph Nathaniel (Sharks FC); Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba FC)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R&F, China); Brown Ideye (West Brom, England); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Anthony Ujah (FC Cologne, Germany); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Ubong Moses (Kano Pillars); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves); Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Standby – Victor Moses (Stoke City, England).

Copyright PUNCH.

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