Keshi Insists On January 5 Deadline For Mikel, Moses


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Super Eagles head coach,Stephen Keshi says he expects all invited foreign-based professionals to arrive at the team’s Faro.

Camp on or before the January 5 deadline set by him with the exception of Villareal of Spain striker,Ikechukwu Uche, who has been given until January 6 to arrive camp because of the concession his club in Spain gives to the Super Eagles, especially regarding the Catalonia friendly.

“No, we have no discussion to let some players stay with their clubsides beyond January 5 and the rules are very clear if any player fails to make the date and without permission we will apply the rules.

Meanwhile the Nigeria Football Federation and Chelsea appear to be heading towards a fight over the actual release time for the duo,and it seems neither side is fully aware of the rules involved in the matter.

Fifa rules stipulate thus:In accordance with Article 36 Paragraphs 2b) and 5c), if a player is called up, he must be released to play in the final competition organised by FIFA or a confederation and held in a period fixed/set in the calendar. In this event, the period of release shall be 14 days.

Keshi’s insistence that the player must report on or before January 5 runs against the rule as the plyers are still covered by the rule to play for Chelsea on Saturday,January 5 before reporting to the Eagles Faro camp.

NFF’s technical sub-committee head,Barrister Chris Greene agrees that the players are covered by the rule to play for their club on January 5 but must make plans to be in camp the following day which will still be in line with the rules.

Complete Sports reports that the NFF cannot force players to report earlier than when the rules stipulate. Chelsea do not need to release either player ahead of the January 5th deadline or notify anyone of their intention not to do so.

There is however a bit of conflicting information on this rule, with some sources suggesting that it may be 14 days from the team’s first game as opposed to the start of the tournament (January 21 in this case). Regardless, both will be allowed to participate January 5th but can be forced to leave before the first leg of the League Cup semifinal.

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