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Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 14:49 UK

Nigeria refuse to give up on Cole

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Carlton Cole
West Ham's Carlton Cole has played for England at under-21 level

West Ham's Carlton Cole is still in the Nigeria squad as the Super Eagles hope he will be eligible to play for them.

This despite the 24-year-old being too old under Fifa regulations to swap nationalities, having already played for England at under-21 level.

The Super Eagles assistant coach Daniel Amokachi told BBC Sport: "We have not completely ruled out Carlton Cole.

"His agents and the English FA are trying to help him secure a special Fifa clearance."

The former Everton striker added: "So we can only wait to see what happens but it's no longer in our hands."

Cole, who was born in England to a Nigerian father and Sierra Leonean mother, was called up to the Nigeria squad that Shaibu Amodu named in August.

But Fifa only allows players who have represented one country at junior level to switch to another country if they are still under the age of 21.

Meanwhile Amodu has had to makes changes to his squad that was announced last month to face South Africa and Sierra Leone in the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Super Eagles have already qualified for the next round of 2010 qualifiers as winners of Group 4.

Injuries rule out Emmanuel Okoduwa, Obafemi Martins and midfielder John Mikel Obi of the game against South Africa on 6 September in Port Elizabeth.

Joseph Akpala of Belgian side Club Brugge has been called up as a late replacement for Ukraine-based Emmanuel Okoduwa.

Also included are Spain-based Ikechukwu Uche and Udinese midfielder Christian Obodo.

The Udinese man's last appearance for Nigeria was in an international friendly against Ghana in London in February 2007.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Greg Etafia (Moroka Swallows, South Africa), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei-Yehuda, Israel)

Defenders: Taye Taiwo (Marseille, France), Obinna Nwaneri (Sion, Switzerland), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England), Yusuf Muhammed (Al Hilal, Sudan), Danny Shittu (Watford, England), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Daniel Ola (AC Cesena, Italy)

Midfielders: Christian Obodo (Udinese, Italy), Seyi Olofinjana (Stoke City, England), Lukman Haruna (AS Monaco, France), Yusuf Atanda Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain)

Strikers: Ikechukwu Uche (Getafe, Spain), Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka (both Portsmouth, England), Joseph Akpala (Club Brugge, Belgium), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Carlton Cole (West Ham, England)


see also
Hammers sign Chelsea striker Cole
05 Jul 06 |  West Ham


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