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Eagles fly without Ogude, Ehiosun

They will rejoin the team in Calabar on Monday

They will rejoin the team in Calabar on Monday

Four players have been dropped from the Super Eagles team to take on Malawi in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying game on Saturday.

The players are AC Milan boy, Nnamdi Oduamadi who suffered a hip injury before the game against Namibia last Sunday, Sunshine Stars striker, Izu Azuka, Valarenga boy, Fengor Ogude and Ekigho Ehiosun who plays for Turkish side, Samsunspor.

They will however rejoin the team in Calabar on Monday as the Eagles regroup for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda next week.

The game, earlier scheduled for Sunday June 17, has now been moved forward to Saturday, June 16.

Keshi told the players that he feels a personal sense of loss to ask them out but going by FIFA rules he cannot take more than 23 players to Malawi.

He assured that they remain part and parcel of his plans of rebuilding the national, urging them to keep the faith with him and help return Nigerian football to the top of the chart in Africa and one of the best in the world.

The lucky 23 players who made the cut for Malawi are Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, and Chigozie Agbim, all goalkeepers. Defenders Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Gege Soriola, Papa Idris, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echejile and Juwon Oshaniwa.

In the midfield are Gabriel Reuben, Raheem Lawal, Obiorah Nwankwo, Ejike Uzoenyi, Obinna Nwachukwu, Henry Uche, Ahmed Musa and John Utaka while the hunt for goals will be led by Victor Moses, Sunday Mba, Ikechukwu Uche, Omatsone Aluko and Uche Kalu.

Team now leave Friday morning
The Nigeria delegation to Saturday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying match against Malawi in Blantyre would now depart the country on the morning of Friday, as officials of the chartered Air Jordan aircraft opted for strict safety rules in line with global best practices.

The delegation was to depart from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International
Airport, Abuja on Thursday evening, but once the 6pm departure time was no longer possible, the airline was told that it would not be able to land at the Kinshasa International Airport to re-fuel as that airport closes at 10pm.

Another option was the Brazzaville International Airport, close to Kinshasa, but the Brazzaville Airport informed the pilot of the Air Jordan aircraft that the airport also closes at 10pm. That left only the option of Luanda International Airport, Angola.

“It would not be wise to take off now having only one option of landing to re-fuel. It is not sensible. I will rather we have up to two, three options so that we can make a choice if the preferred option proves unavailable, for one reason or the other.

“I would prefer that we take off in the morning when all the airports are open,” said the pilot.

Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation agreed with him and held a brief meeting with Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, who promptly conveyed the message to his crew and players.

The new schedule will still afford the Super Eagles time to train atthe Kamuzu Stadium on Friday evening.

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