Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Venezuela Friendly - Mikel, Moses, Efe, Musa, Apam Out

Chelsea super stars, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Ambrose Efe, Ahmed Musa and French based central defender, Onyekachi Apam will not be part of this week's international friendly between Nigeria and Venezuela in Miami, Florida, United States.

Head Coach, Stephen Keshi said Sunday that the players had different reasons for not being part of the game, but that should not bring fears to Nigerians as capable will execute the match.

They however wished that Mikel and Moses informed them earlier than they did. While Musa, Efe, Apam informed of their unavailability in time Mikel and Moses only contacted the NFF Saturday and said they would not be in USA for the match. Different reasons are being adduced for the withdrawals.

Mikel for instance has family matters to settle bothering on his future as a father, following some domestic accidents. Eagles sources, however feel that Moses could have been influenced by Mikel.

"If Moses were still in Wigan he would have honoured the invitation," a team official said. "Timberwolves player, Bright Dike, who stars in the MLS for Timberwolves Fc has already been invited to play in his stead and we are sure that he will do well in the encounter, especially as he is based in the United States", Keshi declared.

For Victor Moses, Sharks FC's Gomo Onduku, who has been in splendid form at the national camp has been drafted in and was part of the team that travelled Sunday night to Miami, Florida for the encounter against Venezuela.

"I have been there before and we don't have any grudges against players withdrawing from international friendlies, especially when they are compelled to do that but we want to be told on time so that we can make replacements", Keshi said Sunday morning.

All other players invited for the encounter have since confirmed their early arrival, even as the team jets out Sunday night via Delta Airlines for the game that comes up on Wednesday night in Florida, USA.

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, is expected to lead the delegation for the friendly, that kickstarts Nigeria's preparations for the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted in South Africa.

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