Why NFF rejected Keshi’s provisional W’Cup list

Thursday 1 May 2014

/ by Colin Udoh

There are indications that the non inclusion of Captain Joseph Yobo, Osaze Odemwingie and Chinedu Obasi in the Super Eagles World Cup provisional list by Stephen Keshi was the reason why the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) refused to make public the list last week.
According to, these players were considered too experienced to be left out by coach, hence Keshi was asked to make “more consultations” before submitting the final list.
Goal gathered from a top source that members of the Technical Committee were unhappy with Keshi’s decision to leave out Odemwingie, Obasi and Yobo, an action that attracted strong reactions.
“We were shocked to discover that despite the fact that  Keshi submitted close to a 40-man list, he still left out quality players like Osaze Odemwingie, Chinedu Obasi and captain of the team Joseph Yobo, players we all know are doing very well with their various clubs,” the source told Goal.
“In as much as he defended the list vehemently and gave reasons for leaving them out which include injury claims, technical reasons and fitness issue,  we told him that we are not really convinced with these reasons and that in as much as he – as the coach has the final say on this issue – we let him realise the fact that this is a World Cup and Mr President [Goodluck Jonathan] is watching with keen interest our preparations and has great expectation from the team to do well in Brazil.
“So we need to ensure things are properly done most especially as regards the players that are actors that will execute the matches at the World Cup,” the source revealed.
This latest information is contrary to rumours in the media [not Goal] that had claimed the inclusion of Odemwingie and Yobo in the squad last week.
It was what prompted Keshi and Technical Committee member Paul Bassey to caution reporters about writing falsehood.
“I am worried about the list I have been reading on the pages of newspapers. I did not make that list and I am not happy that you guys are reporting this to mislead people,” Keshi said after last week’s meeting with the Technical Committee.
Bassey also said: “We looked at the media, most especially the confusing list published, and we are using this opportunity to plead with the media to wait for the authentic list of the players to be released by the Football Federation before it is published.”

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