John Mikel Obi cools off during Sunday morning training with other players in Faro
The process of whittling down the number of players in the Super Eagles camp in Faro, Portugal begun on Sunday night during dinner when four players out of the 31 in camp were dropped from the team ahead of the naming of the list of 23 players for South Africa 2013.
The four dropped players include injured Rizespur of Turkey striker, Uchenna Kalu, Rabiu Ibrahim, who recently moved from Celtic in the Scottish Premier League to Kilmanock FC, Enyimba’s Henry Uche and Papa Idris of Kano Pillars. The four players left camp on Monday morning.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi had during Sunday morning training session hinted that some players will be asked to go in the evening time, admonishing such players to take it in good faith as it does not mean that they are not good but that the coaching crew cannot take everybody to South Africa for the tournament.
Even before the players were asked to go, three coaches, Sylvanu Okpala (MON), Ike Shorunmi and Hyoundonou Valere took the players to a section of the dinning hall for special counselling and words of encouragement and assured them that they are still part and parcel of the team and will be recalled once the team returns from the Nations Cup championship and starts hostilities in the World Cup qualifiers.
All the players appreciated the sincerity and fatherly disposition of the coaching crew and promised to keep their heads high at the various club sides to earn future recall to the national team.
Kalu said he was personally pained that injury denied him a place in the team and promised to bounce back in the coming months for the national team.