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Football | Super Eagles

Mikel and Moses excused from US tour



John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses will not be part of the Nigerian team that face Venezuela in an international friendly against Venezuela in Miami on November 15.

Mikel who was originally included in the squad to face the South Americans has been excused by Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi because he has "family matters to settle."

Joining Mikel on the sidelines for the game against Venezuela is his Chelsea teammate, Moses who has also been excused by Keshi.

Another player initially pencilled down for the game, Onyekachi Apam who plays for the French club, Rennes has also been given permission to sit out the game by Keshi.

Replacements for two of the excused players have already been called up with unheralded Bright Dike who stars for the Major League Soccer (MPL) club, Portland Timberwolves called up to take the place of Mikel.

Moses will be replaced by Sharks attacking winger, Gomo Onduku.

Keshi says he expects the replacements to step up to the plate and distinguish themselves in the clash against La Vinotinto.

“Timberwolves player, Bright Dike, who stars in the MLS for Timberwolves has already been invited to play in his stead and we are sure that he will do well in the encounter, especially as he is based in the United States,” Keshi declared.

All other players invited for the encounter have since confirmed their early arrival, even as the team jet out Sunday night via Delta Airlines for the game that comes up on Thursday morning (according to Nigerian time) in Florida, USA.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, is expected to lead the delegation for the friendly, that kickstarts Nigeria’s preparations for the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted in South Africa.

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