We had reported yesterday that Alan Pardew had said that Shola Ameobi would not be going to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), and that he had made the Nigeria manager aware of the reasons, but that was met with a response from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) that they know nothing at all about this.
Shola Ameobi – confusion on whether he is available for the AFCON
This is what Alan Pardew said yesterday to BBC Sports:
“Shola won’t be going. The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself.”
But a spokesman for the NFF, Ademola Olajire, said this to MTNFootball.com about the Newcastle manager’s statement:
“We are not aware of such a thing about Shola Ameobi, he is a FIFA-listed player for us. The federation is not aware, the head coach is not aware of this and that was why Shola was called up for the competition.”
“We will do all within us to see that Shola or any player picked by the coach for the Nations Cup is released to us.”
Shola was included in the 32-man provisional squad picked by Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi last week, and it was very likely he would also be included in the final squad, as he was impressive in his debut last month when he came on as a substitute and set up the third goal in the 3-1 win over Venezuela in Miami.
We’ll have to see if Shola’s included in the final squad, which we think he will be, and take it from there.
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