Nigeria Coach Shuaibu Amodu has named three uncapped players for the trip to South America – Solomon Okoronkwo, Oluwafemi Ajilore and Elderson Echiejile.
Oba Martins – misses long trip to Columbia (good)
Okoronkwo and Ajilore were part of the team that played in the Olympic final of the football event at Beijing.
But three top players have been left out and all play in the English Premier League – Obafemi Martins of Newcastle United, Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi, and John Utaka from Portsmouth.
But five other players have been included from the Premier league – Joseph Yobo (Everton), Danny Shittu (Bolton), Seyi Olofinjana (Stoke City), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton/England), and Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth/England).
Nigerian captain Kanu, whose place in the team has been questioned of late, has nevertheless said he will lead by example, and is included on the long and tiring trip to Colombia.
Oba will miss the trip to Colombia, but we don’t think that will upset too many Newcastle fans, and maybe not even Martins. We need a fit and healthy Martins to score goals for the Tyneside club, as his number one job.
The Nigeria squad:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapeol Tel Aviv/Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei-Yehuda/Israel), Austin Ejide (Bastia/France)
Defenders: Joseph Yobo (Everton/England), Dele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam/Netherlands), Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille/France), Danny Shittu (Bolton/England), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow/Russia), Yusuf Mohammed (Al Hilal/Sudan), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes/France)
Midfielders: Sani Kaita (Monaco/France), Christian Obodo (Udinese/Italy), Oluwafemi Ajilore (FC Groningen/Netherlands), Seyi Olofinjana (Stoke City/England), Kalu Uche (Almeria/Spain)
Forwards: Ikechukwu Uche (Getafe/Spain), Obinna Nsofor (Inter Milan/Italy), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton/England), Osaze Odemwingie (Locomotive Moscow/Russia), Joseph Akpala (Club Brugge/Belgium), Chinedu Ogbuke-Obasi (Hoffenheim/Germany), Solomon Okoronkwo (Saturn FC/Russia), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth/England)