Stephen Keshi Super Eagles coach has come out again to reiterate the fact that he has not blacklisted players like Mikel Obi from the Super Eagles set-up.
This latest affirmation was in the context of an interview granted by Austin Okocha, a former captain of the team, where he said that Obi was still relevant to the national team and should be recalled for the matches against Liberia in September and October.
“We may have played some games without Mikel but he has always been part of the team and I must tell Nigerians that I have been in touch with the player,” Keshi told reporters.
“On the day of the Nations Cup draws in South Africa, I and Mikel spoke for over 40 minutes on various aspects of football and I was impressed with his patriotism for Nigeria and the success of the national team.
“We must be careful not to bring division and hero worship into the national team. Mikel [Obi] has said again and again that he has no problems with the national team technical crew and I don’t have any problems with him either, so calling for his recall to the team is unnecessary, because he has always been a part of the team”, Keshi added.
He also used the occasion to say that other players like Obinna Nsofor, Chinedu Obasi and Emmanuel Emenike are all in his plans.
“We have a lot of players who were not part of the last games like Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor, Ogbuke Obasi, Emmanuel Emenike and more.
“These players are as important and very good to our ambition of building a strong national team for Nigeria and I have been in touch with all of them, so we must avoid division in the national and respect the decision of the coach.
Keshi then added the fillip that he will not be pressured in inviting players he deems unnecessary for upcoming games.