Durban (South Africa) – Super Eagles’ midfielder, Mikel Obi has been ruled out of the South Africa international friendly, the Nelson Mandela Challenge, scheduled for Aug. 14, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.
The team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya on Tuesday in Durban said that his club, Chelsea FC of London informed the National team handlers.
According to them, player (Obi) was having stomach upset and would not be able to honour the match.
Alaiya said in spite of this, “the mood in the camp is high as all 19 players, including Victor Moses are already there and happy to have been called up for the match.
“There are no injury worries. They are ready to play to make the country proud. I want all Nigerians to expect the best from the team on Wednesday’’.
NAN reports, that the international friendly, is an annual Nelson Mandela Challenge to celebrate the birthday of the global icon and to also raise funds for his charity project.
The match will hold at 8.15pm (7.15pm Nigeria time).
The Bafana Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund told newsmen that he was happy at the high spirit among his players.
“I am happy at the response of players in camp toward preparation for our match against Nigeria. Apart from the fact that the match is friendly, it is to honour Mandela.
“We also want to use it to improve on our FIFA ranking and to prepare for our last World Cup qualifying match against Botswana,’’ Igesund said.
In spite of the fact that six Orlando Pirates players pulled out of the match because of an Africa Champions League engagement, no fewer than 22 others were still available for the match.
The coach, however, expressed disappointment at absence of defender, Anele Ngcongca for the match.
Ngcongca was supposed to join the Bafana camp early on Tuesday, but his Belgian club said he was injured.
Igesund said Ngcongca’s team Racing Genk, refused to release the player after initially agreeing to allow him to honour the national call.
“It is unfortunate that Ngcongca is making a u-turn. This is disrespectful.
“The team initially agreed to release the player, but on Monday night `fabricated’ a story that that he was injured. I have reported the matter to SAFA, so as to take up report to the World soccer governing body – FIFA’’.
He, then, boasted that in spite of this, “we are capable of defeating the Eagles, even though I concede the fact that Nigeria has quality players. Bafana Bafana equally have quality players too’’. (NAN)