Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has permitted John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses to stay behind and help their club Chelsea Football Club to fight for a third place and automatic UEFA Champions League spot in their last English Premier League match against Everton on Sunday.
Kesi spoke to Goal before the home-based Super Eagles departure aboard Lufthansa Airline at 10.30pm to Germany on Thursday night ahead of the team’s camping for Nigeria’s loaded June 2013 programme.
“Mikel and Victor will stay behind to help their club in their last league match. We all know how important that game is to their club and we don’t want to stand as a stumbling block to the club’s ambition. So they will stay behind and join us later and I believe they will cope with us when they return,” Keshi assured.
The former Mali and Togo Coach also allayed fears about the duo being injured as they missed the Europa League final which Chelsea won on Wednesday in Amsterdam.
“You know the decision of who plays any match lies in the coach in charge of the team. To the best of my knowledge Mikel and Moses are not nursing any injury. They are injury free but maybe their coach just decided not to play them in the Europa final,” the ‘Big Boss’ explained.
Keshi also praised the duo for their contribution to Chelsea’s success this season and also congratulated them for winning the Europa League on Wednesday.
He however ruled out Kilmarnock midfielder Reuben Gabriel from the camping in Germany as well as participating in the friendly match against Mexico and all the team’s matches in June 2013.
“Reuben is not going with us to Germany because he was injured and will be out for six weeks. By this time we would have wrapped up the Fifa Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. So Reuben is out of it,” Keshi told Goal.