Monday, October 01, 2012

Pillars’ duo out of Liberia tie

The pair of Gabriel Reuben (pictured) and Papa Idris have been dropped by Nigeria ahead of their 2013 Afcon qualifying against Liberia on October 13.

Reuben, who is in the running for two categories in the 2012 League Bloggers Awards (LBA), is still nursing a groin injury.

His Kano Pillars' teammate and centre-back, Idris, is battling a knee injury.

Nigeria manager, Stephen Keshi explained on Monday in Abuja that he had to leave out Reuben and Idris following their recurring injuries ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations game against Liberia's Lone Star.

The Super Eagles' head coach also assured that the two players remain core members of his team as they aim to reach the finals of the Afcon in South Africa next year.

“It was a painful decision to let the two players go, but we have to look at the future of the players and the fact that we will need the two of them at the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup, that is why we have said we should give them more time to go and get themselves healed. After the game against Liberia, they should be back in the team,” Keshi explained.

The duo of Heartland’s Kalu Orji and Stanley Okoronkwo of Sharks have been called up to replace the two injured Kano Pillars' men.

Keshi has also excused the Sunshine Stars' duo of Izu Azuka and Solomon Kwambe, who arrived the Nigerian camp in Abuja on Sunday.

The Nigerian trainer said “they have special permission to stay away for now” as Sunshine Stars prepare to play hosts to Egyptian giants, Al Ahly this weekend in the semifinals of the Caf Champions League.

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