Nigeria’s preparation for the August 14 Mandela Challenge against Bafana-Bafana of South-Africa has suffered a set-back as Fenerbahce of Turkey latest recruit, Emmanuel Emenike, and youthful Chelsea defender, Kenneth Omeruo, have dropped out of the match.
According to allAfrica.com The Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, quotes 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.
On his part, Omeruo, who had pulled a shoulder during the Confederations Cup game between Nigeria and Spain in Brazil, is said to have had a relapse and has been ordered by his club doctors at Chelsea FC of England to undergo a proper and permanent solution to the injury. Omeruo was on loan at Dutch side, Addo Den Haag, last season.
As replacements, the Eagles handlers have invited Gege Soriola and James Okwuosa, both based in South Africa. The technical crew said they took the decision to call up two central defenders because there are enough options upfront for the encounter against the South Africans next Wednesday.
“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”, Head Coach Stephen Keshi was quoted as saying.
Keshi added that Emenike has a lot of hurdles to cross at his new club and the management of the national team had 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. But 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,” he said.
Emenike has not played for the Super Eagles since emerging highest goal scorer at the African Cup of Nations in February.
Meanwhile, six top South African players who play for Orlando Pirates have also pulled out of the match due to club engagements.