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Football | Super Eagles

Keshi © Shengolpix

Keshi livid at NPL gamble claims



Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi has responded to critics claiming he is gambling with players from the nation's Premier League for the 2013 Afcon.

Keshi, 50, was speaking on a football magazine show, Sports Tonight, on popular Nigerian television, Channels TV on Tuesday.

The Nigerian manager was straightforward in his response saying the country's league should be shut down if it cannot produce players for the national team.

"If players in domestic league cannot play in Super Eagles then let's scrap the domestic league," said Keshi, who was a product of the Nigerian top flight with clubs like ACB and New Nigerian Bank (NNB), before becoming captain of the Super Eagles .

The former Mali and Togo coach picked six players from the Nigerian top flight in his 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The six players are goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim (from Enugu Rangers), Azubuike Egwuekwe (from Warri Wolves), Godfrey Oboabona (from Sunshine Stars), Reuben Gabriel (from Kano Pillars), Sunday Mba and Ejike Uzoenyi (both from Enugu Rangers).

The selection of the players have generated a debate in Nigeria but Keshi remains adamant that the six players worked hard to deserve their places.

It is the first time in seven years that a Nigerian squad will have players from the local league for the Afcon.

Goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba was the last player from the nation's top flight to make the cut to the 2006 Afcon while with Enyimba.

Nigeria start off their Afcon campaign in South Africa against Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on January 21.

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