Martins and Geremi Out Against Stoke

It’s just two weeks before the start of the African Nations Cup and Newcastle United have already lost two of their players to the tournament.


Oba Martins – misses Stoke game – but could play at Manchester United

The Nigerian FA have surprisingly refused Newcastle’s request for Martins to face Stoke City in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round.  That’s surprising because they have already given Yakubu and Joseph Yobo permission to play for Everton against Oldham in today’s 3rd round tie.

However, Sam Allardyce is still hopeful of persuading Berti Vogts to allow the striker to face Manchester United next Saturday at Old Trafford. Newcastle will be without the services of Cameroon international Geremi, though the Senegalese pair of Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye are still available for tomorrow’s game.

Of course, under the FIFA rules, African countries are entitled to call up players 14 days before the tournament actually begins, which is January 20th, and it turns out Nigeria have arranged a training camp in Spain in preparation for the competition.

So it looks like we have Faye and Beye available for tomorrow’s game, and then perhaps Martins for next week’s game at Manchester United. But after that, that’s it, and we’ll be without the four of them until into February some time. The tournament ends on February 10th.

Sam told the Newcastle Journal today:

“Our efforts mean we still have Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye before they go off to the African Nations Cup, but not Oba or Geremi.”

“We’ve got two of the four, which is important for us.”

The 2008 African Cup of Nations will be the 26th edition of the African Cup of Nations, the football championship of Africa, and will be hosted by Ghana. The tournament will be held between January 20 and February 10, 2008.

Comments very welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Leo

    Jan 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #1

    well we luckily got the right two, rather than martins and geremi.

    how will he play against manchester but not against stoke. i dont understand?

  • mark

    Jan 5, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #2

    Berti Vogts said one or the other, we chose Man Utd game.

    I wonder, it may be possible, that he isnt playing as we dont want to Cup Tie Oba??? Rumours abound today that Citeh and Villa want him.
    He wouldnt go to either. Villa…Lmao.

  • David Mills

    Jan 5, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #3

    Who the hell does Berti Vogts think he is ???
    And second who pays Martins his wages Newcastle.
    F*k Nigeria and play Martins against Stoke.

  • George

    Jan 5, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #4

    It is about time that rules like this where the national team say when a player plays and does not play is given the red card.
    Who on earth do Nigeria think they are telling us when Oba can play, and two fingers to FIFA for giving them the power of such right.
    Grass root league football is the surviving and bread winning aspect of football, yet FIFA give the likes of Nigeria the power to tell our clubs when players can play. Forget it.
    If i was a manager i would play Oba and sod the Nigerians and any other country for that matter. He who pays the wages has the right no-one else.

  • carl

    Jan 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #5

    what fuc***g right had vogts got to say when and where he can play, we pay his wages and own him, he should play as long as hes with us,

  • mark

    Jan 5, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #6

    Aye but if we play him against Stoke, Vogts will demand he come, so martins will, otherwise, death threats, thats what its like over there.

  • Steeley

    Jan 5, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #7

    Mark – exactly mate! The whol situation is scandalous, but they’re all fecking mental in places like that! They’d hack his head off on live TV if he did anything like that…nutters, the lot of them!

  • Dragoner

    Jan 5, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #8

    Guys i am pretty sure Martins wants to play for his COUNTRY!!!

  • Dragoner

    Jan 5, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #9

    lets try and be a bit more understanding

  • Steeley

    Jan 5, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #10

    Dragoner – nobody is doubting that Martins wants to play for his club, but please understand that he isnt being called up for to play for Nigeria whilwe’ve asked him to play for us…they have TWO WEEKS of team bonding before their first bloody game…that’s what’s ridiculous!!

    And to think that Vogts can pick and choose when Martins can play is pathetic! If he plays against Man Utd next week, then he should be able to play against Stoke….its a ridiculous situation that we have to choose one game or the other!

  • AlexW

    Jan 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #11

    think about it, contries like england, spain etc all have sessions all year round, so they need them two weeks to get the players gelling again, so i perfectly understand

  • Graeme

    Jan 6, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #12

    Guys, I’m living in Lagos and most of the comments are way off line. ANY National Team has the RIGHT to demand their International player turn up for a recognised game, whether thats Abyssinya or Zululand.

    We had that right when our players were playing in Germany, Spain etc (Hargreaves, Beckham) its the same for every footballing nation.

    Voights has the right to demand that Martins doesnt play another game for NUFC, as from today and FIFA and the FA would have to agree. Just be thankful he has chosen not to do so.


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