This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Keshi Denies English Deal With Ameobi, Shittu

Super Eagles boss, Stephen Keshi has declared that there is no deal with English Premier League side Newcastle United over the release of Shola Ameobi for the Nations Cup, neither is there such an arrangement with English Championship side Millwall on the release of towering defence ace, Daniel Shittu.

Super Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya, quotes Keshi as saying; "I never entered into any deal with any manager and will not because the two players in question are international stars and the rules are very clear about when they should be released for international assignments if their country so desires them."

There were wild speculations in the Nigerian media over the two players' release for the championship with the respective managers claiming to have had an agreement with an unnamed Nigerian official over when to release them.

Keshi's declaration has now put all speculations to rest with National Team Scribe, Dayo Enebi Achor, declaring that the two club sides were written to on time and the onus is now on them to release the players as and when due.

Meanwhile, it was not all work and no play for the Super Eagles as the management of their camp site, Bolton White Hotels and Apartment hosted the team to a Christmas eve bash on Monday night.

All the 24 players and officials led by Head Coach Stephen Keshi were in attendance at the bash that was meant to last all night but ended at about 12:00am because of what towering defender Azubuike Egwueke called 'serious business'.

Speaking at the occasion, General Manager of Bolton White Hotels and Apartment, Chiedu Anekwe, said he was delighted that all through the qualifying series for the Nations Cup championship in South Africa, the national team camped at Bolton White and did not lose any qualifier game both home and away. He thereafter predicted that the team will bring home the glittering trophy from South Africa at the end of hostilities AFCON 2013.

Apartment Manager of the Boltion White, Chika Okoye, who has been largely applauded for the professional handling of players and officials during camping times, promised to improve on it and also predicted that there would be a bigger celebration party when the team returns from the AFCON 2013 Championship.

Keshi on his part said he was not making any promises about winning the trophy but was sure that the team he has at the moment has the capacity to excel at the tournament.

"We have never let Nigerians down and we would not let them down at SA 2013," he declared amidst thunderous applause.

The even proper was characterized by jokes, music and sublime dance steps by players and officials that was anchored by Abuja-based comedian, Fred Bright.

Super Eagles emerging midfield star, Gabriel Reuben and defender Azubuike Egwueke, caught a few eye brows with their exquisite dance steps on the night that Keshi declared was to for players and officials to let off steam.

The national team Manager, also took time off to appreciate the support of all sporting personalities, especially that of House of Representative Chairman, Committee on Sports, Hon Godfrey Gaya, who sent a sumptuous Christmas card to the entire team on Christmas day.

"The Minster has been wonderful, so is the Senate with the support but we have special thanks to give to Hon. Godfrey Gaya, who is always there for us whether the weather is clear or dark. God will help us reward his labour of love," Keshi said.

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