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Nigeria faces goalkeeping crisis (SN)

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 May 2008

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Goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Dele Aiyenugba have pulled out of Nigeria's squad for a friendly against Austria on May 27 in Vienna because of club engagements.

Nigeria coach Shuaibu Amodu said both goalkeepers who are based in Israel have informed the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) that they have crucial matches for their Isreali clubs and so have opted out of the Vienna game.

“Both players said they will be playing for their teams by the end of the month and so cannot make it for the Austria match,” Amodu aid.

“That also means that they are ruled out of our World Cup match against South Africa on June 1 in Abuja. It's a very big blow for us because we now have only one goalkeeper in the squad, Austin Ejide.”

South Africa-based goalkeeper Greg Etafia has therefore been given a late call-up to the Super Eagles squad.

Meanwhile, Amodu told reporters that he has been reassured by skipper Nwankwo Kanu that the country's key players will be available for next month's 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers despite a demanding season in Europe.

“I met with Kanu in England and he assured me that he and the other players are prepared to make sacrifices for the country despite a long and tiring season in Europe,” Amodu said.

Nigeria play four World Cup qualifying matches in June against South Africa, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, who they play home and away.

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