By Tony Ubani
1996 Olympics gold â€“winning team captain, Nwankwo Kanu will attend his third World Cup after being named among Nigeriaâ€™s final cut of 23 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The list was released Monday morning by Technical Adviser Lars Lagerback at the Nigeria teamâ€™s pre â€“World Cup training camp.
But there was no place for joint top scorer in the qualifying series Ikechukwu Uche as well as two Beijing Olympics silver medallists, defender Onyekachi Apam and forward Victor Anichebe. Also dropped were Peter Utaka, Brown Ideye and two home boys Bassey Akpan and Terna Suswan.
Vice Captain Joseph Yobo, just recovering from injury, is also listed, as well as fellow 2002 World Cup star John Chukwudi Utaka.
Goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide and Bamidele Aiyenugba are selected, with defenders Taye Taiwo, Chidi Odiah, Rabiu Afolabi, Ayodele Adeleye, Danny Shittu and Elderson Echiejile joining Yobo.
Midfielders are John Mikel Obi, Yusuf Ayila, Kalu Uche, Dickson Etuhu, Lukman Haruna and Sani Kaita. Forwards are Osaze Odemwingie, John Utaka, Nwankwo Kanu, Chinedu Obasi, Obinna Nsofor, Obafemi Martins and Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
Of the lot, Kanu will be making his third World Cup appearance while Enyeama, Ejide, Yobo, Afolabi and Utaka were in Nigeriaâ€™s 2002 World Cup squad. Odemwingie was also in that squad but as one of two alternate players, the other being Ogbonna Kanu.
Haruna, captain of Nigeriaâ€™s winning squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea Republic, equalized for the Super Eagles in Sundayâ€™s 1-1 draw with Colombia. It was the Nigeriaâ€™s teamâ€™s penultimate friendly before the World Cup finals.
NIGERIAâ€™S WORLD CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Bamidele Aiyenugba
Defenders: Taye Taiwo, Rabiu Afolabi, Chidi Odiah, Ayodele Adeleye, Danny Shittu, Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejile
Midfielders: Haruna Lukman, Mikel Obi, Kalu Uche, Yusuf Ayila, Dickson Etuhu, Sani Kaita
Forwards: Nwankwo Kanu, Osaze Odemwingie, John Utaka, Chinedu Obasi, Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor, Yakubu Aiyegbeni