Chelsea superstars, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and France-based central defender, Onyekachi Apam, will not be part of Wednesday’s international friendly between Nigeria and Venezuela in Miami, Florida, United States.
Coach Stephen Keshi said yesterday that the trio had different reasons for not being part of the game, adding their absence should not bring fears to Nigerians as capable replacements have already been named for the encounter.
He disclosed that Mikel would soon become a father, and that Bright Dike, who stars in the MLS for Timberwolves, has already been invited to play in his stead “and we are sure that he will do well in the encounter, especially as he is based in the United States.”
For Moses, Sharks FC’s Gomo Onduku has been drafted in; he was expected be part of the team that traveled yesterday night to Miami, Florida for the encounter against Venezuela.
“I have been there before and we don’t have any grudges against players withdrawing from international friendlies, especially when they are compelled to do that but we want to be told on time so that we can make replacements,” Keshi declared yesterday morning.
All other players invited for the encounter have since confirmed their early arrival, even as the team jetted out last night via Delta Airlines for the game that comes up on Wednesday night in Florida, USA.
NFF President, Aminu Maigari, was expected to lead the delegation for the friendly that begins Nigeria’s final preparations for the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted in South Africa.