LAGOS - Nigeria have dropped Everton striker Victor Anichebe but included Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel in their final 23-man squad for the 2010 Fifa World Cup released yesterday.
The other surprise exclusions from Nigeria's World Cup party are Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche and Nice defender Onyekachi Apam, who are both still suffering from knee problems.
Uche was joint top scorer in the qualifiers with four goals but has been out of action for seven months after a major knee injury.
The other dropped players are Peter Utaka, Victor Anichebe, Bassey Akpan, Terna Suswan and Brown Ideye. Mikel is recuperating from knee surgery and only joined the rest of the squad on Friday after he was certified fit by doctors at his London club.
Nigeria, who drew 1-1 with Colombia in a friendly on Sunday, are drawn in Group B along with Argentina, Greece and South Korea and play their first match on June 12 against Argentina.
Nigeria's World Cup squad is:
Goalkeepers - Vincent Enyeama, Dele Aiyenugba, Austin Ejide;
Defenders - Taye Taiwo, Elderson, Chidi Odiah, Joseph Yobo, Daniel Shittu, Ayodele Adeleye, Rabiu Afolabi;
Midfielders - Kalu Uche, Dickson Etuhu, Mikel Obi, Sani Kaita, Haruna Lukman, Yusuf Ayila;
Forwards - Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Chinedu Obasi, Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka, Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor and Osaze Odemwingie. - Sapa-AFP