New Fenerbahce striker, Emmanuel Emenike and Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo have dropped out of the August 14, Nelson Mandela Challenge between Nigeria and South Africa.
Emenike who just joined Fenerbahce has asked to be left out in order to acclimatise at his new club. The striker last played for Nigeria in the semi final match of the Africa Cup of Nations.
On his part, Omeruo, who had a pulled shoulder during the Confederations Cup game between Nigeria and Spain, is said to have had a relapse and has been ordered by his club doctors at Chelsea for a proper and permanent solution. Omeruo had been on loan at Dutch side Addo Den Haag.
National team media officer, Ben Alaiya quoted the team administrator Dayo Enebi Achor, as saying that Emenike opted out of the encounter in other to quickly settle down at his new club.
“He may have been at the club before but he is highly valued in Turkey and he has requested that he be allowed to settle well at the club and the technical crew has obliged him,” Achor said.
In their place, South Africa-based defenders Free State Stars’ Gege Soriola and Chippa United’s James Okwuosa have been called up.
The technical crew took the decision to call up two central defenders because there are enough options upfront for the encounter against Bafana Bafana.
“We also need to start grooming new defenders who are promising for upcoming challenges and we found the two players invited thus far very promising,” Keshi said.
Keshi added that Emenike in particular has a lot of hurdles to cross at his new club and the management of the national team have to oblige him.
“We will need him in the World Cup qualifiers but he has a lot of things to do at his new club and we must give him that opportunity. I must say we are in good contact and we are happy with the way things are going with our top players in the transfer market,” Keshi said.
The Super Eagles are expected to fly out on Sunday night to South Africa for the encounter against Bafana Bafana on Wednesday.