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NFA defends Keshi over bloated list for Liberia clash

Abuja – The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on Wednesday has condemned the criticisms trailing the list of invited Super Eagles players’ for the Oct.13 Africa Cup of Nations showdown against the Lone Star.of Liberia.

Paul Bassey, a the spokesman of the Technical Committee said that anybody questioning the number of invited players’ was ignorant of the reasons behind the action.

Keshi had on Tuesday released the list of invited players made up of 15 foreign and 23 home-based players for the final lap of the 2013 AFCON slated for South Africa.

Some stakeholders had questioned the rationale behind the invitation of 38 players, for a 10 days camping exercise.

They described the number as “too large’’.

“You cannot expect the coach to pick 11 players to prepare for the Liberia match. You need this large number because he is also looking ahead.

“For the foreign-based list, some of us were not too happy with the performance of some of the players that went to Liberia, so there is need to beef up the squad.

“We need to look at one or two others as an addition and players can be substituted because we don’t want any excuses in the Liberia match,” Bassey explained.

According to him, some of the players may spend just two days in the Eagles camp because of injury worries.

Bassey told NAN that Kano Pillars FC duo, Papa Idris, Gabriel Reuben, and Inter Milan FC of Italy mid-fielder Joel Obi, are players with injury worries who might not make it to Calabar.

“Keshi has some question marks on these players. He may decide within two days in camp, whether they will remain or not, with regards to their injury.

“There are new invited players like Ezekiel Bassey and Anthony Okpotu from Lobi Stars FC whom he is banking on to replace these players.

“Keshi’s philosophy is trying to get as many home-based players as possible, from which he could make his final selection,” Bassey said.

The home-based Eagles and their foreign based colleagues have been given up to Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 respectively to report to their Bolton White Apartment camp in Abuja. (NAN)


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