Chelsea's Mikel Missing from Nigeria Roster

Nigeria released their squad for their upcoming World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Thursday.

Notably missing was Chelsea stalwart, John Mikel Obi.

The midfielder, who is enjoying the finest season in his Chelsea career, and patiently waiting to answer the roll call in the UEFA Champions League Final at the Allianz Arena on May 19, has yet to convince the current Nigeria manager of his battle-readiness.

Mikel had been asked by Nigeria Coach, Stephen Keshie to show his readiness to play for the team before he will hand him a call up.

The Chelsea stalwart is yet to feature for the Nigerian side since Stephen Keshie took the reins of the coaching job in Nov. 2011.

Keshie denounced the notion that there was a rift between the two and insisted that Mikel remains very much part of his plans.

"Mikel is in my plans but we will give other players an opportunity as well," Keshie explained.

"We need to give players from the local league a chance. After all, how many knew about such players as Uche Kalu, Ejike Uzoenyi or Godfrey Oboabona, before now?" 

Austin Ejide, Fengor Ogude, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile and John Utaka have all been recalled in a group of 11 players based overseas, with Wigan Athletic forward Victor Moses completing the list.

Nigeria will name another squad of 18 players from the domestic league, who are due to fly out this weekend for a friendly in Peru.

The Super Eagles will host Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Calabar, before travelling to Malawi on June 3 and June 6, respectively.

Keshi's men are also due to host Rwanda in a second-leg qualifier for the 2013 Nations Cup to be hosted by South Africa.

Here's look at the foreign-based players called up by Nigeria:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille/FRA), Austin Ejide (Petach Tikva/ISR)

Defenders: Joseph Yobo (Fenerbache/TUR), Efe Ambrose (Ashdod/ISR), EldersonEchiejile (Sporting Braga/POR)

Midfielders: Fengor Ogude (Valrenga/NOR)

Forwards: Ike Uche (Granada/ESP), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Sone Aluko(Rangers/SCO), John Utaka (Montpellier/FRA), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic/ENG)

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