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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Yobo to miss Mozambique clash

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Nigeria

Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo
Joseph Yobo will miss Nigeria's 2010 qualifier against Mozambique

Nigeria and Everton's Joseph Yobo has been ruled out of his country's 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Mozambique on 29 March.

Yobo picked up a hamstring injury while on training with Everton in Spain.

He is expected to return to training ahead of Everton's FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United.

Despite the injury Yobo says that he will pay his own way to Mozambique to support his country in their quest to reach the World Cup in South Africa.

"I will be in Mozambique to support the squad because maximum points is what we need," Yobo told BBC Sport.

"I've been in touch with some of the players, we have a young squad, therefore we all need to fight on and off the pitch.

"I have spoken to my club and they understand how deeply I feel about the national team.

"I'm glad they have granted me permission to travel, I cannot sit down in England while the rest of squad go to war."

Earlier in the week Yobo warned his team-mates they must focus on the final stage of the 2010 qualifiers.

The Super Eagles are unbeaten so far in World and Nations Cup qualifying but the the Nigeria captain insists the road to South Africa will be a tough one.

"Our futures are on the line, we need to understand that our performance in the first round is now history," Yobo told BBC Sport.

"Nigerians will not forgive us if we fail to qualify for the World Cup hence the importance of putting our lives on the line for every game.

"So much has been said about us but now is the time to show what we can do as a strong unit."

Yobo also confessed he and his team-mates have their work cut out to convince their fans they are capable of reaching South Africa.

"It's a massive but understandable expectation from the public and we need to do more," he told BBC Sport.

"I know what it means to play at the World Cup and for many of us 2010 could be our last chance of playing on the biggest stage

"People are still talking about the 1994 squad, we can get there but a lot still has to be done to achieve such accolades."

Meanwhile, coach Shaibu Amodu has revealed that there will be no replacement for injured striker Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi in his squad to face Mozambique.

The striker who plays for Hoffenheim in Germany is out of the trip to Maputo after tearing a muscle in his right hip.

Amodu says he will stick to strikers like Ikechukwu Uche, Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor, Joseph Akpala and Osaze Odemwingie.

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see also
Martins makes Nigeria committment
06 Mar 09 |  African
Nigeria to face Rep of Ireland
16 Feb 09 |  African
Obasi doubtful for Mozambique tie
10 Mar 09 |  African
Yobo to make swift Everton return
06 Jan 09 |  Everton
2010 World Cup tables
07 Jun 09 |  African

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