No Nigeria duty for Shola Ameobi

The 31-year-old Ameobi, who once played for the England Under-21 side, had been named in Nigeria’s provisional squad by coach Stephen Keshi for the tournament which gets underway in South Africa on January 19.

Shola Ameobi (left) celebrates after scoring a goal for Newcastle. Pic/AFP

But Pardew insists the player is needed for the English Premier League campaign.

“Shola won’t be going to that (Africa Cup of Nations), and the national team manager knows the reasons behind that, which I am going to keep to myself,” said Pardew.

Ameobi scored the winning goal in Newcastle United’s 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday after making his debut for Nigeria in a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela last month.

Nigeria will take on defending champions Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso in Group C at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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