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2013 Nations Cup: Joel Obi Ruled Out

18 Dec 2012

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Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, will take a chance on injury-hit Onyekachi Apam for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) but not Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi.

The Rennes defender Apam is being considered to plug the leaky central defence and even though he was not involved in the qualifying series for the Nations Cup and his fitness has been in doubt lately, Keshi is ready to take a chance on him.

However, Italy-based defensive midfielder Obi is not so lucky and so will miss out on his first AFCON.

Obi first suffered a muscle problem in March and recently staged a comeback, but the injury relapsed forcing to him out again.

He has now returned to training with the hope of playing again before the year runs out.

Obi made a superb Eagles debut against Sierra Leone in February 2011 in Lagos under then coach Samson Siasia.
A lot was expected of him thereafter, but injuries have since limited his international appearances.

Apam on the other hand has bounced back from a long-term knee injury which sidelined him for over 18 months.

Meanwhile, former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, has declared that the Super Eagles will not win the 2013 AFCON.

West who was part of the Olympic football team that won the gold medal in Atlanta 1996 said that there are a lot of factors that will not work for the team.

"You know the team is just evolving and when teams are in the re-building process, it is very difficult to win any major trophy," he said Monday.

"I am saying this because the Super Eagles would need another two years to become a better team. The young players are doing well. They have been able to show great courage and determination since Keshi took over.

"I have watched them at close quarters and noticed that they are a bunch that wants to succeed at all times. But sincerely speaking I don't see them as champions at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

"They will do their best in the tournament. They will create enough upsets but they will not win the trophy. Not because they are not good, but for the fact that it will take another two years of consistent hard work to become world beaters.

"Keshi has done well I must confess because there is a new lease of life in the team since the players now do their best in their clubs because they want to play for the Super Eagles.

"I am looking forward to see the Super Eagles getting their hands on the trophy in the next edition of the tournament," Taribo told Goal.com.

Super Eagles will play in Group C alongside defending champions Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

Tags: Sports, Nigeria, Featured, AFCON 2013, Joel Obi

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