Nigeria warns international football stars ahead of World Cup 2010

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The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) has warned that players who stay away from friendly matches will not feature in the country’s team for the joint 2010 World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifiers, due to start next month.

Nigeria, which is due to kick start its qualification campaign 1 June against South Africa in the capital city of Abuja, has scheduled a preparatory friendly against Austria in Graz 27 May.

“The era where we would be chasing players to play for Nigeria is over. Any player who fails to report in Graz for the international friendly against Austria on May 27 is out of Nigeria’s first game against South Africa on June 1 in Abuja and indeed in other matches,” NFA Chairman Sani Lulu said.

“We have a pool of talents to draw players from and anyone who does not attend the Austrian friendly would be replaced and dropped out of the team permanently, no matter whose ox is gored,” he told a local newspaper Tuesday.

Nigeria is in group 4 of the qualifiers alongside South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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