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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 11, 2006

Infamous Obi Mikel in Nigeria squad

CAIRO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Nigeria have included teenage talents John Obi Mikel and Sani Kaita in their squad for the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt, the Nigerian Football Association has announced.

Coach Augustine Eguavoen has also selected the Italian-based teenage striker Obinna Nsofor, who has yet to win a cap at senior level, in his 23-man squad submitted to the Confederation of African Football in Cairo ahead of Tuesday night's deadline.

Both Obi Mikel, who was the subject of a tug of war between Chelsea and Manchester United last year, and Kaita were part of the Nigerian side that finished runners-up at the World Youth Championship in the Netherlands in June. They have since won a solitary senior cap.

English-based Nwankwo Kanu and Joseph Yobo, who both had injury concerns at the start of the week, have also been included in the side, to be led by Bolton Wanderers' Austin 'Jay-Jay' Okocha.

Okocha, who was winner with Nigeria at the 1994 finals in Tunisia, was voted player of the last tournament.

Nigeria have been preparing for the tournament in Portugal and play their first Group D match against perennial foes Ghana in Port Said on Jan. 23.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Dele Aiyegnuba (Enyimba), Austin Ejide (Etoile Sahel, Tunisia), Vincent Enyeama (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, Israel)

Defenders: Joseph Enakarhire (Dinamo Moscow, Russia), Obinna Nwaneri (Esperance, Tunisia), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Taye Taiwoo (Olympique Marseille, France), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England)

Midfielders: Yusuf Ayila (Dinamo Kyiv, Ukraine), Sani Kaita (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Garba Lawal (Iraklis, Greece), Paul Obiefule (Viborg, Denmark), John Obi Mikel (Lyn Oslo, Norway), Christian Obodo (Udinese, Italy), Austin Okocha (Bolton Wanderers, England), Wilson Oruma (Olympique Marseille, France)

Strikers: Julius Aghahowa (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine), Nwankwo Kanu (West Bromwich Albion, England), Stephen Makinwa (Palermo, Italy), Obafemi Martins (Inter Milan, Italy), Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona, Italy), Peter Odemwingie (Lille, France), John Utaka (Stade Rennes, France).

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