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Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Friday, 8 April 2011 11:09 UK

Nigeria order Olympic coaches to pick local players

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Perpetua Nkwocha in action for Nigeria
Perpetua Nkwocha is one of the stars who will be affected

Nigeria's Olympic coaches have been ordered to stick with locally-based players for the rest of the qualifying campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) decision applies to the men's U23 team and the women's national side.

Both coaches have relied heavily on overseas stars in the London 2012 qualifying campaign so far.

"Both coaches have been told they have to go local," NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

"It is highly disrespectful towards the domestic players, when they train together for three to four weeks and then you leave them out.

"We have taken this step to encourage our local players [both in the men and women leagues] and also as a cost measure."

The women's team have a 7-0 lead over Namibia going into the away leg of their second-round tie.

The U23 side defend a 5-0 first-leg lead in Equatorial Guinea this weekend and six foreign-based players are in the squad which has travelled to Malabo.

"There may be a chance to play them [the European stars] in this one but that will be it," said Olajire.

"The Super Falcons coach has been informed and she is restricting the next squad to players in the Nigerian women league only."

The Nigerian men won gold and silver medals at the 1996 and 2008 Olympic Games respectively.

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see also
Nigeria women coach goes unpaid
23 Mar 11 |  African
2012 Olympic qualifying tournament
14 Jan 11 |  African

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