By Johnny Edward:
The Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday called up 23 players for next month’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.
The list includes defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose, midfielders Ogenyi Onazi and John Mike Obi, and forwards Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.
France –based Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a result of injury, Nosa Igiebor who missed the final cut for Brazil and Chinedu Obasi who was not considered for the tournament, are all back for September’s double –header.
Onazi, the midfield powerhouse who suffered a terrible injury in the Round of 16 defeat by France, is now fully recovered, but Michael Babatunde, who was stretchered out against Argentina after a hand injury, is left out.
Home–based quartet; Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in Cape Town earlier in the year, also have opportunity to return to Cape of Good Hope and shine. They are joined by Enugu Rangers’ marksman Christian Osaguona as the lot from the domestic League.
Nigeria play Congo’s Red Devils – restored to the race after conquerors Rwanda were found guilty of using an ineligible player – in Calabar on September 6, before flying to Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on September 10.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers)