From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi , said that he was snubbed by Ozase Odemwingie, who refused to confirm his availability for selection for the final phase of South Africa 2013 qualification against Liberia in Monrovia on September 8.
Keshi, who was briefing the media on the state of readiness for the battle against the Lone Star, also revealed that the decision to excuse John Mikel Obi was through mutual consent after the Chelsea midfielder asked to be left out from the match originally which will be played on an artificial turf on the advice of team doctor of Chelsea.
The national coach hinted that Odemwingie, who stars for West Brom Albion, ignored him by failing to inform the technical crew of his availability for selection.
Odemwingie, who was suspended for three games, by former coach Samson Siasia, for disciplinary issue, has not been on national duty since the Super Eagles played against Rwanda in March in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Kigali.
Keshi said that after he sent a congratulatory message to Odemwengie on his birthday, the forward did not deem it worthy to reciprocate with a call.
“Osaze has not spoken with me for three weeks now. I have been calling him now, but he was not picking my call and not responding. Initially he responded to my SMS by saying he would call me the next day, but he never did,” Keshi fumed.
He revealed that he only learnt that the game in Monrovia would no longer be played on plastic turf after the Liberian federation communicated the change to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) two days ago.
Keshi also justified the inclusion of Brown Ideye and Emmanuel Emenike in his party because they were playing top flight football with teams who are in the UEFA Champions League.
Interestingly he pronounced Emenike as not good enough when the burly striker failed to sparkle when Nigeria beat Zambia in a friendly match in Kaduna in November 2011.
“I have never seen Ideye, but I know Emenike. Both of them are playing in the Champions League and deserve to be in the team. You can’t judge Emenike with one match and say you won’t bring him back”.