This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: SA 2013 - Omeruo Lands Faro, As Shittu Drops Out

The Super Eagles camp in Faro, Portugal is gradually bubbling to life as invited foreign-based professionals trickle in.

First to arrive the camp of the national team was Holland-based central defender, Kenneth Omeruo.

The lanky former Flying Eagles ace arrived at lunch time on Saturday and took part in the lunch. He was there at the time the Nigerian Ambassador to Portugal, Ambassador Ijeoma Bristol and her husband were addressing the team.

He has since jelled with the rest of the team and took part in Saturday afternoon training.

Also in town is Ukraine-based hitman, Brown Aiyide Ideye, who came in on time to join the afternoon training session.

Expected to join in the team also on Saturday night are United States-based striker Bright Dike and former Enyimba of Aba hitman, who has since moved to a Turkish second division side, Uche Kalu.

Camp is now full of activities as the team is billed to travel out to Catalonia, Spain on New Year's day for the international friendly against the Catalan side on January 2.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's Ambassador to Portugal, Ambassador Ijeoma Bristol, has visited the Super Eagles camp in Faro, Portugal, assuring the team that government at the highest level will do everything humanly possible to ensure that the team emerges victorious at the forthcoming African Cup of Nations in South Africa.

She was accompanied on the visit by her husband, Ambassador Gordon Bristol, who was himself Nigeria's former Ambassador to France until recently when he was redeployed to the Foreign Affairs Ministry as Under Secretary for African Affairs.

Ambassador Bristol and her husband spoke with gusto and high expectation about what the Super Eagles can do in South Africa.

"We were thirsty for this cup in the past but now we are hungry for it and the whole nation is waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to touch the cup in Abuja by February," the husband said.

She added that with Stephen Keshi, a tested international and ex-national skipper now in charge of the team, he was sure that the national team will deliver the goods.

Responding, Keshi who spoke through the team's Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, assured that the team will not let the nation down in South Africa.

He asked for prayers, patience and support of all Nigerians in the task of winning the Cup of Nations, adding that all the teams coming to the tourney have the intention to win but only one country will take the trophy home and the hope is that the country will be Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Keshi has said that Danny Shittu has asked to be excluded from the Nations Cup, but declared that Shola Ameobi, has the final say regarding whether he wants to be part of the Nigerian setup in South Africa.

"Ameobi has not spoken to me since the game against Manchester United as he promised but I believe he has the final say because the Manager, Allan Pardew cannot hold him down going by FIFA rules, but we must be sure that he is ready to play for us before we apply the rules," he said in Faro, Portugal.

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