Leadership (Abuja)

1 January 2013

Nigeria Accuses Newcastle

Nigeria has launched a scathing attack on English Barclays Premier League club, Newcastle United accusing the club of "playing double standards."

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Newcastle United have been locked in battle over striker Shola Ameobi with the manager of the English club, Alan Pardew claiming the player will not go to the Africa Cup of Nations.

"We perceived that coach Alan Pardew of Newcastle is playing double standards. Look at the clause in the contract of Demba Ba, the Senegalese player, which allows him to move from Newcastle to another club for an amount in the January transfer window. And he (Pardew) is saying he doesn't want the clause in that contract enforced. Meaning he wants the player to stay. "But now because Shola Ameobi wants to go to the Nations Cup, he wants to enforce a particular clause in his contract, which he claims can stop him (Ameobi) from being part of the Nations Cup.

There are a lot of things we (at the NFF) are investigating - we are looking at when Shola Ameobi signed this particular contract. Was it before when he became eligible to play for Nigeria or after. Remember he only became eligible to play for Nigeria this year alongside Victor Moses. So when did he sign the contract?" said NFF's Chief Media Officer, Ademola Olajire.

Ameobi is one of 32 players named in Nigeria's Afcon provisional squad by head coach, Stephen Keshi.

Nigeria's Super Eagles are currently camped in Faro, Portugal ahead of next month's Afcon in South Africa.

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