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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:35 UK

Obodo pulls out of Nigeria squad

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Nigeria and Udinese's Christian Obodo
Christian Obodo has withdraw from the Nigeria squad

Christian Obodo has withdrawn from the Nigeria squad for June's 2010 World Cup qualifying matches.

The 23-year-old has been out of action for more than a year and is recuperating from more surgery to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"It's impossible to be fit and give my all during these matches," said Obodo, who plays in Italy for Udinese.

"I feel so honoured to be in the plans of the new coach, I hope I can give my best when I'm back to full fitness."

New Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu has included striker Kayode Odejayi in his squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifying matches to be played in June.

Odejayi plays for Barnsley in the English Championship, and his goal gave the Tykes a famous victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March.

The 26-year-old is one of 10 England-based players in a 27-man list.

Amodu has dropped six men from the squad that travelled to Ghana for this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

Stephen Makinwa, Ifeanyi Emeghara, Dickson Etuhu, Onyekachi Okonkwo, Richard Eromoigbe and Rabiu Afolabi have all been left out.

France-based Elderson Echiejile has been called up, along with the duo of Yusuf Ayila and Chidi Odiah, who are both returning from long-term injuries.

Nigeria will face Austria in a friendly in Vienna on 27 May and then begin their 2010 World Cup qualifiers at home to South Africa on 1 June before their fixture against Sierra Leone six days later.

The Super Eagles will then play Equatorial Guinea away and at home, in Malabo on 14 June and in Abuja on 21 June.

Amodu was appointed as Nigeria coach earlier this month.


Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Austin Ejide (Bastia, France), Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel),

Defenders:

Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille, France), Obinna Nwaneri (FC Sion, Switzerland), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Onyekachi Apam (Nice, France), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes, France), Danny Shittu (Watford, England), Yusuf Mohammed (Al-Hilal,Sudan)

Midfielders:Jon Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Haruna Lukman (Monaco, France), Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Seyi Olofinjana (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain)

Strikers:Obafemi Martins (Newcastle United, England), Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka (Portsmouth, England), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona, Italy), Ikechukwu Uche (Getafe, Spain), Victor Anichebe (Everton, England), Kayode Odejayi (Barnsley, England), Emmanuel Okoduwa (Westerlo, Belgium)


see also
Davey backs Odejayi over Cup miss
06 Apr 08 |  Barnsley
Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea
08 Mar 08 |  FA Cup
Amodu named new Nigeria coach
10 Apr 08 |  African


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