Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Ikpo Tambarin Yobo, spent over one hour on phone with Head Coach of the team, Stephen Keshi to confirm his unavailability for this weekend’s crucial tie against the Lone Star of Liberia, the coach confirmed on Wednesday. Yobo’s knee is said to have swollen up after he played 70 minutes for his Turkish side at the weekend
Keshi revealed that it was a tearful Yobo, who revealed to him that the medical team at Turkish side, Fernabahce, have ruled him out of the Nigerian tie with a torn cruciate ligament, and have put him on medical examination to determine whether he can travel to Nigeria to morally boost his mates for the tie against Liberia.
“If the medical team in Turkey clears him, we should be expecting Yobo on Friday, for the Saturday game. Our hearts go out to him and his family and at this point we want to say his health is most important to us because we will still need him soon for the Nations Cup proper and the World Cup qualifiers. We know he loves to play games like this, that was why he was shedding tears but we have assured him that capable replacement will help secure the ticket to South Africa 2013 Nations Cup”, Keshi said.
Keshi praised the patriotic zeal of the players in camp, who have assured him that they will pick the ticket not only for Nigeria but for their injured skipper. “There is no panic over Yobo’s injury, we are just motivated to secure the ticket and reassure him that we will all be together at SA 2013.
Expectedly, Yobo’s deputy and first choice keeper, Vincent Enyeama, has stepped up as the team skipper in the absence of the influential centre back and has been playing the role quite well. He is now expected to lead Nigeria out against Liberia on Saturday in the final round of the Nations Cup qualifier.