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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 16:40 GMT
Martins no-show for sick mother
Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Martins flew to Nigeria to be with his sick mother.
Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins missed the international friendly clash with rivals Ghana on Tuesday night after flying home to be with his sick mother.

Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen was furious with the 22-year-old's no-show for the 4-1 defeat to the Black Stars.

Martins had been released by his club, English premier side Newcastle United, to take part in the match.

However, Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder today revealed the player had flown to be with his sick mother in Lagos.

Roeder said Martins had taken advantage of a Fifa "free day" for international players, in which the player travelled to Lagos and bring his ill mother back to Tyneside.

Glenn Roeder
Oba was back in training today after making a lightning-quick return to Nigeria to attend to his mother
Glenn Roeder,
Manager of Newcastle United

"Oba was back in training today after making a lightning-quick return to Nigeria to attend to his mother, who has been poorly," he said.

The Newcastle boss recently attributed Martins' improvement in form to his mother's previous visit to England, and especially her home cooking.

However, whether the news placates Eguavoen remains to be seen after Roeder admitted last month he would ask Martins to consider sitting out of the Ghana game.

Eguavoen has vowed to take his fight to the authorities, and Martins could face a domestic ban if they decide he has breached the rules.

Roeder's motivation to rest the striker is perhaps understandable - he has Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi sidelined for much, if not all, of this season through injury, and the Nigerian is his only fit out-and-out striker.

Ghana beat arch rivals Nigeria
07 Feb 07 |  African
Martins free to play for Nigeria
05 Feb 07 |  African


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