Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: I Won't Miss Osaze, Martins, Others, Says Keshi

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix
Peter Odemwingie.

Abuja — Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, says he will not miss any player who did not make the team's provisional list for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Keshi disclosed this in an interview on Sunday in Abuja, in reaction to the barrage of criticisms which have trailed his list of 32 invited players.

The list was for the final phase of camping in Faro, Portugal for the competition, scheduled to kick off on Jan. 19 in South Africa.

According to Keshi, the omission of the likes of Osaze Odemwingie and Taye Taiwo was not intentional, but for the good of the country.

"We don't need Osaze right now; that is all.

"He is not a bad player and there is nothing personal about it. It is just that at this point in time, there are some players that were not called and we don't have anything against them.

"We also did not invite Obafemi Martins, why are Nigerians not talking about him?

"These players are not the only Nigerians playing; this is what we want for now.

"All we want for now from Nigerians is to support the players that are there in prayers," Keshi said.

The former Togo and Mali coach added that Martins was not in the list because he did not live up to expectation when he was given the opportunity to prove his worth in the new Eagles squad.

Keshi pointed out that he was more comfortable dealing with the players he was familiar with.

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