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KESHI RULES OUT AUTOMATIC INVITATION FOR PROS

By NBF News

Super Eagles' Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has warned the foreign-based players not to expect an automatic invitation or shirt when Nigeria takes on the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda for the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier encounter later this month.

Keshi, who gave the warning while fielding questions from the media after the first training session at the FIFA Goal Project in Abuja with the home-based Super Eagles yesterday, also assured that John Mikel Obi's injury would not affect his team's preparation for the February 29 encounter. The former Hawks of Togo gaffer further warned that he would not give any preferential treatment to any player in the team, maintaining that all the players deserve equal attention since there is no super player in the Eagles.

The former Eagle's skipper disclosed that with the machinery he has set in motion to monitor the performance of the European based players, he would only invite players based on their current form. 'All our players are equal. There is no super star in the team yet. Both the foreign and home based players are of the same rank and rating. We have resolved to put machinery in place to continue to monitor their performances to ensure that we invite the best for the match against Rwanda.

'As for Mikel, I'm sad over his injury, but I do not think that will affect the team's preparations for the game. We pray that he gets well on time to join the team. We, are, however, monitoring the performance of all the foreign-based players to ensure that we invite the best for our matches,' he noted. Meanwhile, there were strong insinuations that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has ordered the head coach to prune the list of players to prosecute the game against Rwanda, revealing that only 12 professionals would get invitation to battle with eight home-based players for shirts against Rwanda in Kigali.