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  Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Kanu's disappearing act
Kanu takes on Argentina's Veron
Kanu last played for Nigeria at the World Cup

The Nigerian FA is demanding to know why star player Nwankwo Kanu missed the Super Eagles' opening Nations Cup qualifier against Angola on Sunday.

Nigeria's coach Christian Chukwu had to play attackers out of position in midfield to make up for his absence.

The Super Eagles were fortunate to come away from Luanda with a 0-0 draw.

Kanu's club side Arsenal confirmed that they had released the player for the game, but that he did not play.


I was told Kanu came to Nigeria but he shunned our team
NFA secretary-general Taiwo Ogunjobi
Kanu was known to have left London for Lagos - he was seen having a row with check-in staff at Heathrow over seating arrangements - but he did not report to Nigeria's training camp on arrival.

Nigerian newspapers said he immediately travelled to his home town of Owerri.

Confusion reigns

What has angered fans and the FA is that Kanu was in Nigeria when the squad flew out to Luanda, and appears to have deliberately missed the plane.

Chukwu said that when he met with Kanu in London shortly after taking over as coach, the forward said he would report to the Nigerian camp for the match.

That was contradicted at the time by Nigerian FA secretary-general Taiwo Ogunjobi.

"Kanu is struggling to find his form and will not come for the match," he said, despite the fact that the striker played in Arsenal's first three Premiership matches.

NFA secretary-general Taiwo Ogunjobi
Ogunjobi wants answers
However Ogunjobi on Wednesday told BBC Sport Online a different story.

"I was told Kanu came to Nigeria but he shunned our team," he said.

"We intend to ensure that players start taking reporting to the national camp for assignments seriously."

Kanu is not the only player who failed to report to the Eagles training camp after arriving in Lagos.

However, all joined the squad in time for the flight to Luanda.

Ogunjobi said he planned to meet with Kanu to "sort the matter out".


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See also:

10 Sep 02 | Cup of Nations
08 Sep 02 | Cup of Nations
08 Sep 02 | Cup of Nations
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