The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) are demanding that Stephen Keshi defend every player named in his provisional World Cup list.
The World Cup is not a “tea party”.
Chairman of the body’s technical committee, Chris Green, gave this hint ahead of Keshi’s impending 35-man squad naming for screening in early April. This will be as opposed to the normal practice of naming 30 players as required by FIFA.
“Keshi will present his list in the first week of April before the technical committee in Abuja,” Green told Mtnfootball.com.
“He may not be presenting a 30-man list as speculated, but a 35-man list. And we expect him to defend the inclusion of every player in the list. Because the World Cup is not a tea party.”
“We are monitoring our World Cup opponents, we have got some tips about them, we have people monitoring them to get more information about them.
“The World Cup is the greatest football competition in the world and we are working hard in the federation to make impact.
“We therefore expect him to bring forward the best legs the country has, but we would not influence his selection, so whoever he chooses, he must defend before the committee next week.”
All 32 teams going to Brazil must submit a provisional 30-man squad to FIFA by May 13.
Speaking of players for the World Cup, Keshi has come under fire from certain quarters for repeatedly excluding some players like Ikechukwu Uche and Osaze Odemwingie, who are doing well.
“We (NFF) are only there to advise because the buck stops on the table of the coach. It is up to the coach to decide whether or not to take the advice we give,” Green told Supersport.com.
“Issues relating to the conduct and mannerisms of footballers is a sensitive and complicated affair.
“No two human beings are alike. Mario Balotelli is one of the most enigmatic footballers alive today but he plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world (AC Milan) and the Italy national team.
Green went on: “It’s about learning how to manage human beings, big personalities and egos. It’s really up to the coach. We are only there to advise.”
Nigeria, reigning African champions, have been grouped with Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.
By: Gary Al-Smith/Citifmonline.com/Ghana