Alan Pardew was asked what the current situation is with Shola Ameobi and the Nigerian Football Federation, and Alan was unwilling to talk too much about it – other than to say it should be cleared up in the next few days.
Shola Ameobi – tussle between Nigeria and Newcastle for his services
It seems there is a clause in Shola’s contract that say he will refuse to play in an African Cup of Nations tournament, but it also seems that the Nigerian born striker has changed his mind and wants to play for Nigeria next month in South Africa.
Alan had said earlier this week that he will not be going, but this is what he had to say yesterday:
“It’s something we’re trying to clear up with the authorities at the minute,” said Pardew, who is already resigned to losing Cheik Tiote to Ivory Coast. “I don’t really want to say any more than that.” “We seem to have two different messages coming out, but we should hopefully sort that out in the next couple of days and have a more definitive answer.”
The Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi has left former Newcastle striker Oba Martins and Aston Villa’s Peter Odemwingie out of the squad in preference to Ameobi, and he has even said he will request that FIFA suspend the Newcastle striker for the length of the tournament if the Tyneside club refuse to release him.
And we have already seen from Senegal, that the African Football Federations pull no punches if their players are not released, and we had the unfortunate situation of Papiss Cisse being suspended for the following weekend game (75 minutes before the kick off we may add), after he had refused to travel for a friendly game, because of a back problem.
Newcastle have no room for maneuver in this situation, and Nigeria are almost certain to get their way.
It seems the only thing the European clubs get to do in this scenario is pay out huge wages to the players, who are taken away from them for up to six weeks every couple of years.
There’s something wrong with that somehow – and surely the AFCON should be changed to be very four years – as soon as possible.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org