Author(s): Sola Babarinsa
June 7, 2013
Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles manager, named four uncapped players in his squad for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup holding in Brazil between 15 and 30 June.
The list also included five others who got their first cap for Nigeria in a friendly with Mexico
Keshi, in a list released by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on Friday, made nine changes to the squad that won the African Nations Cup (AFCON) in February, dropping Captain Joseph Yobo and Ikechukwu Uche.
Super Eagles goal poacher Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses and Gabriel Reuben were left out due to injuries.
The list includes first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, and his backups Chigozie Agbim and Austin.
Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Francis Benjamin (Heartland FC), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Solomon Kwambe, Godfrey Oboabona (both Sunshine Stars), and Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag) will handle Nigeria’s defence in the tournament.
Others are midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Emeka Eze (Enugu Rangers), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga), John Ogu (Academica Coimbra), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers).
While strikers: Joseph Akpala (Werder Bremen), Michael Babatunde (FC Kryvbas), Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Nnamdi Oduamadi (Varese), Anthony Ujah (FC Cologne) complete the list.
Nigeria are in Group B along with Tahiti, Uruguay and Spain for the Confederations Cup, which runs from June 15 to 30.
Before heading to Brazil, they will travel to Namibia for a World Cup qualifier in Windhoek on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tahiti was the first team to arrive in Brazil for the tournament. Wearing striking red and white floral shirts, the Tahitians stepped off their plane at the city’s international airport in the early hours of Friday morning.
Coach Eddy Etaeta said he was delighted to have arrived in Brazil for what is the biggest tournament in Tahiti’s history, and revealed his ambition to win the hearts of local fans.
“We are very pleased to be here in Brazil for the FIFA Confederations Cup, which is a massive event for Tahitian football,” said Etaeta. “We hope to get a warm welcome, win the hearts of the people of Brazil and get their support.”