Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi has said Fernabahce of Turkey star defender, Joseph Yobo, remains the national team skipper, even if he has not been in constant contact with him recently.
Speaking at a media interraction at the team’s camp Bolton White Apartments in Abuja on Wednesday, Keshi said he has a lot of respect for Yobo because of what he has done for the nation but cannot invite him to the team only to put him on the bench.
“It will not be fair to invite Yobo to the national team and asked him to be on the bench, it will be a huge disgrace and I won’t be part of that. When the team needs him he will be recalled and will definitely start as captain even if along the line we substitute him.”
Keshi used the opportunity of the media parley to praise the proactive manner the Nigeria Football Federation have been handling affairs of the national players despite its lean financial situiation and thanked the Aminu Maigari-led board for their hardwork.
He called for more support for the NFF so that they can meet their obligations to all the national teams and declared that all the players who have not been invited in the current squad still have an opportunity to be part of the team in nearest future, provided they keep their form.
“For the captain of the team, he has to work extra hard to remain so because he is leader of the team and that has been the philosophy of the team since we took over because that was the way we were brought up to captain the national team,” declared the longest serving Eagles captain.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will on Friday morning at the FIFA Goal Project site test their might against Abuja FC in a game primed to test the readiness of the players for the CHAN war against the Ivorain Elephants in Abdjan.
Team Coordinator, Emmanuel Atta, said Keshi has already approved the game and necessary contacts have been made for the test match, which will be played on Friday morning.
FC Abuja, features in the second tier of the Nigerian league and have been described as a very solid side by several coaches.
Meanwhile, only 18 players from the 24 presently in camp will make the trip to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for the return leg of the final rouind qualifier of the CHAN championship.
Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor, said only 18 players will be dressed for the encounter and it will be useless taking more than such number to Abidjan, as others who have been in camp with the rest of the squad should have gained the much needed experience. Before now 20 players were primed for the trip.
The team continued its buildup at the Atro Turf pitch of the Goal Project in Abuja, with all the 24 players showing enthusiasm about the possibility of making the final cut for the Abidjan trip.
Keshi has already assured them that there will be no favouritism in the final selection of players for the trip as only merit will be the yardstick.