Some of the names that dropped in the course of the media interaction at the Eagles’ base in Abuja include late minute entrants Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United and Bright Dike of the American soccer league who made his debut for the country last month with the international friendly against Venezuela.
Also heading to Portugal expectedly are Russia-based strikers Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike. Ogenyi Onazi who was a surprise call-up for the last Nations Cup qualifying match against Liberia in Calabar was named too.
Keshi also told reporters at the hotel that Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi will not be in South Africa due to a muscle injury.
He said, “I spoke with Joel Obi about three days ago and he is still nursing his injury. He went to the club doctor to get a second opinion and was advised to stay back and receive proper treatment.
“It is not good for us because he is one of our key players; we have missed him a lot. We really thought we will have him for this tournament.”
But while there were kind words for Obi, Keshi showed his other side by kicking out Lobi’s Bassey Ezekiel for reporting late to the camp.
The former Togo and Mali coach said that generally the level of discipline in the camp was encouraging except for the attitude exhibited by Ezekiel.
“We are trying to build a much disciplined squad for the Nations Cup and we are a bit surprised that a home-based player who is making a first appearance will decide to report late when even his mates who have stayed over a year with us still respect arrival dates. We hope when next he gets an opportunity he will know that time is of essence,” Keshi said.
Ezekiel was given until Tuesday to report, but he arrived in the camp in the early hours of Wednesday.
The foreign-pros will join the squad latest January 4 in Portugal. January 9 is the deadline set by the Confederation of African Football for the submission of the final 23-man squad for the Nations Cup, which kicks off on January 19.