Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Keshi to defend 35-man provisional list for 2014 World Cup with talks on Odemwingie's return.

Nigerian Football Federation officials have announced that Super Eagles' head coach Stephen Keshi will submit and defend his 35-man provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The head coach also intends on discussing the possible return of Stoke City new signee Osaze Odemwingie. Odemwingie has been absent from the national team since he featured in AFCON's qualifier against Rwanda in 2012 mainly because of his clash with the technical crew.
Keshi hopes to meet with Odemwingie to discuss his possible return before submitting his provisional World Cup list to the NFF for ratification.
NFF Technical Committe official Chris Green stated in an interview with MTNfootball that they are expecting Keshi to defend every inclusion in the squad, speaking he said:
Keshi will present his list in the first week of April before the technical committee in Abuja, he may not be presenting a 30-man list as speculated, but a 35-man list. And we expect him to defend the inclusion of every player in the list, because the World Cup is not a tea party”
Mr. Green also commented on the NFF's  interest in the list, - “we are monitoring our World Cup opponents, we have got some tips about them, we have people monitoring them to get more information about them. The world cup is the greatest football competition in the world and we are working hard in the federation to make impact. We therefore expect him to bring forward the best legs in the country, but we would not influence his selection, so whoever he chooses, he must defend before the committee next week”
All 32 World Cup finalists are expected to submit a 30-man provinsional list latest May 13 to FIFA.
For Nigeria, Keshi is under pressure to include Odemwingie and another in-form player, Ike Uche who was accused of tactical indisipline at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa and has since been frozen out of the national team.
Osaze has been doing a lot to aid his return to the national team, his recent effort help Stoke earn a first Premier League away win since August after coming from behind to comfortably beat Aston Villa in the 4-1 away victory over Aston Villa. The host led the match with their opener form Christian Benteke, Odemwingie pulled Stoke level, restoring hope for the visitors, but two more Stoke goals in 4 minutes transformed the game as Odemwingie finished on the run before Peter Crouch scored from close rance.