Super Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Super Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose, has been ruled out of Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup qualifying match against the Harambee Stars scheduled for Calabar on March 23.
Ambrose whose blunders cost his Scottish Celtic club two goals in their 3-0 second leg defeat a fortnight ago to Juventus, got ruled out because of the two yellow cards he got against Namibia in Calabar June last year and the one in the game away to Malawi in Blantyre same month.
Assistant Director (Media) of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire Thursday confirmed the eligibility of the former Israel-based defender in the clash with the Kenyans at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
Olajire also confirmed that the Super Eagles will fly into Calabar on Monday for their final preparations ahead of the Brazil 2014 qualifying match against Kenya.
“Coach Stephen Keshi has been working with 24 home boys in Abuja since Tuesday, with the overseas-based legion expected to hit town this weekend.
“A selection of the home boys and the Europe-based contingent will make the trip to the Canaan City, where the African champions will be lodged at Transcorp Hotels, formerly Metropolitan Hotel,” observed the NFF spokesman.
World football-governing body, FIFA has appointed Botswanan official Joshua Bondo to take charge of the big match, from which the Super Eagles need the three points to solidify their leadership of Group F.
NFF officials also confirmed Thursday that Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke will be presented with the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in his office on the evening of Thursday, March 21.
NFF President Aminu Maigari will lead the Super Eagles delegation to the Government House.
“It has also been confirmed that following assurance of security by the Cross River State Government, the trophy will be on display at the U. J. Esuene Stadium for the duration of the World Cup qualifying match.
Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi will join Governor Imoke, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Head of the Kenyan Delegation and other dignitaries at the VIP stand,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s AFCON hero, Sunday Mba, has accepted the warning from Head Coach, Stephen Keshi that he faces being dropped from his squad.
Mba has been in the centre of a transfer row between two Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs, Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves and has been warned that he could be axed from the Super Eagles if the saga remains unresolved.
The attacking midfielder has now made a passionate appeal to Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves to "amicably settle" their long-running dispute over his ownership.
Mba took the football world by storm with a superlative display at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa where he netted the winner for Nigeria in the showpiece game against Burkina Faso.