Obi back in Nigeria fold to bid for World Cup place

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LAGOS, March 7 (Reuters) – Joel Obi has been recalled to the Nigeria squad for the first time in almost four years after being named on Wednesday, along with three uncapped players, for World Cup warm-up friendlies against Poland and Serbia this month.

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Coach Gernot Rohr has brought back the 26-year Torino midfielder for the matches in Wroclaw on March 23 and London four days later as Nigeria prepare for the World Cup in Russia, where they are in Group D with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.

Defender Stephen Eze, recently signed by Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria, and strikers Junior Ajayi and Gabriel Okechukwu have been added to the 28-man squad. Brown Ideye, Isaac Success and Tony Ujah all miss out.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05), Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Bruges), Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm), Abdullahi Shehu, William Ekong Troost (both Bursaspor)

Midfielders: Uche Agbo (Standard Liege), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Joel Obi (Torino), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor)

Forwards: Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United), Moses Simon (Ghent). (Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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