Abuja cleared for Sudan cracker

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Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is okay with the state of the pitch at the National Stadium in Abuja after a tour of the pitch with his assistants on Tuesday.

The National Stadium has not hosted a Super Eagles game for nearly two years, and coupled with the bad state of the pitch at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, the Nigeria Football Federation are looking to host the Eagles next Afcon qualifier against Sudan in Abuja.

Keshi, who took Nigeria to the last World Cup in Brazil, said he had seen remarkable improvement on the playing surface which felt better than the last time the Eagles trained on it.

"Yes, the pitch is a lot better than the last time we trained here, It was so sandy, not very good," Keshi said when asked on his take on the state of the pitch.

"But with what I've seen here, It's a whole lot better and it is encouraging to bring the players here. It is good.

Keshi also cleared the air as regards to reports in some local media in Nigeria that he said in-form Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins was too old for the Super Eagles.

"I did not say he is too old. I never said anything of that nature," the former Togo coach told supersport.com.

"This is why I don't like talking to journalists. You always quote me out of context. I never said Martins is too old.

"We have the likes of Lampard (Frank) and Pirlo (Andrea) playing. Nobody ever said they are too old.


"If he is doing well for his club, that's great., but don't quote me wrongly. I've played this game too so I know how it is.

"My point was that we have more younger players in the attack that I need right now. That's all I said.

Keshi also revealed that contrary to reports suggesting he said he will release his team list to prosecute the double header against Sudan next week, he never mentioned such to anyone.

"Here we go again, I never said anything about releasing the list next week," he stated.

"When the time is due I'll release my list for the Sudan game. I am still compiling the list, maybe I'll be done by tomorrow (Wednesday).

Nigeria will meet Sudan in a double header in October. The Super Eagles will face Sudan on October 11 in Abuja before traveling to Sudan four days later to meet coach Abdullah Mazda and his team.

Congo top Group A of the 2015 Caf/Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with six points, two head of South Africa who are in second place.

Nigeria are third with a solitary point after two matches while Sudan are rooted bottom with zero points.

Source: Super Sports

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