Shola Ameobi will not participate in Africa Cup of Nations, says Pardew

The Newcastle boss confirmed that the 31-year-old target man will remain on Tyneside for the duration of the tournament but remained coy on the exact reasons behind the decision
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that Shola Ameobi will not represent Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, with the forward instead remaining in the north east for the Magpies' Premier League campaign.

Ameobi had been called into Stephen Keshi's preliminary squad ahead of the tournament which kicks off on January 19, but Pardew confirmed to reporters that he would be withdrawn from the full set-up, though he refused to divulge the exact reasons behind the decision.
14/1 Shola Ameobi is 14/1 with bet365 to score the last goal at Old Trafford on Boxing Day

"Shola won't be going,” he said. “The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself."

Though born in Nigeria, Ameobi moved to England with his family at the age of five, and despite turning out for the England Under 21s 20 times, the 31-year-old recently made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela in November.

The striker, who has spent his entire career with the Magpies, scored the decisive goal on Saturday as Newcastle beat QPR 1-0 at St James' Park to arrest a run of form that saw just one victory in the previous 11 games in all competitions.