Nigeria Threatens Newcastle, Millwall

27 Dec 2012

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Shola Ameobi

The Nigeria Football Federation has threatened to report two English clubs to FIFA if they do not release their players for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Newcastle United Manager, Alan Pardew, is insisting that Shola Ameobi will not be going to the AFCON in South Africa while Millwall boss, Kenny Jackett, is urging invited Danny Shittu to turn down Nigeria.

"These clubs are not only disrespecting Nigeria but FIFA and CAF as well," NFF Board Member, Chris Green told BBC Sport Thursday.

"The rules are clear on international games approved by FIFA so we consider these comments as not only ridiculous but totally disrespectful."

Green has made it clear that the NFF will apply for the full weight of FIFA sanctions on both clubs if they do not release their respective players.

"We know the rules. FIFA has made it clear that these clubs will not be able to use these players for the duration of the Nations Cup plus an additional five days," he added.

"We will further push for additional sanctions - we understand these clubs employ our players but they are also international footballers.

"Rules are rules. Newcastle and Millwall must understand the basics why they exist."

Former England Under-21 international Ameobi had been named by Keshi in his provisional squad.

But Pardew said: "Shola won't be going. The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself."

Pardew's comments come despite Ameobi himself saying that he would be keen to play for the Super Eagles if picked.

Shittu is expected to reject the opportunity to play for Nigeria in the AFCON next month, according to Millwall boss Jackett.

"I don't think he's going to go and I don't think he's been in touch with them. At the moment that's the decision," Jackett said.

"It was a surprise but it shows how well Danny has done. He's only in the preliminary squad so that's going to be cut down."

According to FIFA’s rules governing players’ release by clubs:  “A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annexe.

“This restriction on playing for the club shall, moreover, be prolonged by five days in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up.”

Tags: Sports, Nigeria, Featured, NEWCASTLE, MILLWALL

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