Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has cleared the air on why he dropped Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and goalkeeper Austin Ejide from the squad to face Chad in June 13’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier billed for Kaduna.
The ‘big boss’ in a parley with media said claims that he is having a strained relationship with the former Flying Eagles star is untrue, insisting he had talked about his exclusion with him.
“I decided not to bring him (Mikel) because right now I don’t need him for this game. Mikel and I spoke. We talked about it and he said no problem,” Keshi told media.
“I told him we will talk for the September game.
“For Ejide, we are playing only a game now which is against Chad. So bringing in two foreign based goalkeepers is [uncalled for], I think I would rather give room to two local goalkeepers to go with captain [Vincent] Enyeama.
“If it were to be two games, I would have invited two foreign based goalkeepers. That actually informed my exclusion of Mikel and Austin Ejide.
“So with these three goalkeepers in camp it should be okay for the game. If we do not give them the room and opportunity to grow, when will they become Ejide or Vincent Enyeama or Emmanuel Okala?,” he concluded.