Martins to Olympic duty this time???
Nigeria select Martins for Olympic duty
LAGOS, March 18 (Reuters) - Inter Milan's teenage striker Obafemi Martins is one of 17 overseas-based players called up by Nigeria for next weekend's Olympic Games qualifier with Tunisia.
Obafemi Martins: Nigeria call (MatthewAshton/Empics)
Martins, 19, has consistently turned down Nigeria's invitations for international matches, most recently in January when he withdrew from the squad preparing for the African Nations Cup in Tunisia, saying his club career was the priority.
Nigeria's Olympic team coach Kadiri Ikhana said on Thursday: 'We know the pressure Martins is facing but we hope he and others will come to help us qualify for the Olympics (under-23 soccer event in Athens).'
Nigeria, with 10 points, lead the group from Tunisia who have nine points and Senegal with eight. Egypt complete the group from which only the top side qualifies for Athens.
A draw in the March 27 clash in Tunis will be enough for Nigeria who have drafted players from the senior team into the 30-man squad, including John Utaka, Osaze Odemwingie, Ifeanyi Udeze, Joseph Enakharirhe and Austin Ejide, all of whom played in the Nations Cup side that took bronze.
Nigeria won soccer gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Selected overseas-based players:
Ifeanyi Udeze (PAOK Salonica, Greece), John Utaka (Lens, France), Aniekan Enyeama (Auxerre, France), Joseph Enakharirhe (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kazeem Tijani (Chicago Lightning, USA), Yakubu Adamu (Schalke 04 Amateurs, Germany), Osaze Odemwingie (La Louviere), Rabiu Baita (Mons, Belgium), Alfred Omoefe (Grasshoppers, Switzerland), Robert Akaruye (Egypt), Segun Abiodun (Al-Wahad, UAE), Emeka Opara (Tunisia-based), Ike Kalu (Pro Patria, Italy), Ola Daniel (Italy-based), Christian Obodo (Perugia, Italy), Ugochukwu Obiakor and Austin Ejide (both Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia
I doubt he will go as he has never gone before. It would b nice for him to play for his country but with him recently coming back to full fitness and wanting a place in the team I would b surprised.
This is during the summer so i would luv to see him play in the olympics and maybe get the gold like they did before
It would be awesome seeing Martins play for Nigeria
FIFA EXEMPTS MARTINS FROM INTERNATIONAL DUTY
Tuesday, 23 March 2004 18:25:11
MILAN - With regard to Obafemi Martins ' call-up to the Nigeria squad for the Athens 2004 qualifying match away to Tunisia on 27 Match, F.C. Internazionale have requested and obtained, through the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), a document from world football's governing body FIFA which says the club is not obliged to release the player for international duty, as the aforementioned match is not part of the FIFA calendar.
Well, I believe this is the second (could be more) time we win the battle over Martins with Nigeria. I think the first was for the Africa Cup of Nations when Martins refused to go to African and stay in Italy to help Inter. I can see a future feud over Martins between Inter and Nigeria again. I thought an Olympic qualifying match is an official match though...
I think because it corresponds with our season but during the Olympics he could join and Inter would be fine with it
I would love to see Martins at the Olympics, not many "famous" players participate.
Yeah i wanna support someone and i would rather it be him with Nigeria..Any of our other players going to??
Originally Posted by BFC82