Head coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has revealed that the 23-man list for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will be released on Tuesday, January 8 in Faro, Portugal.
Keshi released a provisional list of 32 players comprising of 14 players from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and 18 overseas-based players last week.
The ‘Big Boss’ has now lifted the lid on the date the final list of Nigerian players to the 2013 AFCON will be released as the Super Eagles begin their quest to win the trophy for the third time.
“The final list will be released on January 8 (2013) at our training camp in Portugal. We would have ascertained the level of fitness, form and mental state of the players in the provisional list by that time,” Keshi told supersport.com.
Stellar names like Kalu Uche, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbeni ,Osaze Odemwingie and Taye Taiwo were excluded from the provisional 32-man squad but Keshi is optimistic the players, who made the cut will deliver the goods in South Africa.
“It’s not going to be easy but I am sure all the players are up for the task. We urge Nigerians to support all the 32 players in the squad. Those players are all Nigerians and deserve support.
“This is not the time to start talking about players who were not here. Everyone cannot play at the same time. We can play even without the players who were not selected.
“What these boys (in the provisional list) need now is confidence and I am sure they will deliver the goods for Nigeria,” Keshi said.
Nigeria are in Group C of the AFCON alongside Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and the reigning champions, Zambia.
The Super Eagles open their campaign against Burkina Faso’s Stallions on January 21 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.