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23.01.2008 Sports News

Nigeria Axe Mikel

By Daily Guide
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… For Missing Qualifier

Nigeria's coach, Bertie Vogts has left midfielder John Obi Mikel out of a 23-man squad for this month's 2008 African Nations Cup qualifier against Niger.

Chelsea's Mikel was axed after failing to report for their match against Uganda in Kampala last weekend, citing injury.

Nigeria lost 1-2, ending their 100 percent record in Group Three, which the former African champions still lead on nine points ahead of Uganda who have seven.

Vogts, former German International, has welcomed back forward Osaze Odemwingie, midfielder Seyi Olofinjana and defender Chidi Odiah for the June 17 clash with Niger in Niamey after injury.

Nigeria's Football Association, which said its training camp will open in the capital Abuja on June 11, also invited five players from the domestic league to prepare for the Niger game.

The winners of the 12 qualifying groups and the three best runners-up will join hosts, Ghana at the finals in 2008.
Squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Bnei Yehuda, Israel), Austin Ejide (Bastia), Dele Aiyenugba (Enyimba, Nigeria).
Defenders: Joseph Yobo (Everton), Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille), Rabiu Afolabi (Sochaux), Danny Shittu (Watford), Obinna Nwaneri (FC Sion), Mutiu Adegoke (Asec Mimosa, Ivory Coast), Ifeanyi Onwuatu (Lobi Stars, Nigeria), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow).

Midfielders: Sani Kaita (Sparta Rotterdam), Seyi Olofinjana (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Oyekachi Okonkwo (Orlando Pirates), Olawale Isiaka (Lobi Stars, Nigeria), Oguchi Uche (Lobi Stars, Nigeria).

Forwards: Obafemi Martins (Newcastle), Ayodele Makinwa (Lazio), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth), John Utaka (Rennes), Osaze Odemwingie (Lille), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Middlesbrough), Chukwuma Akabueze (Kwara United, Nigeria). Klose confirms

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