Nigeria drop Mikel

LAGOS - Nigeria coach Bertie Vogts has left midfielder John Obi Mikel out of a 23-man squad for this month's 2008 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Niger.

LAGOS - Nigeria coach Bertie Vogts has left midfielder John Obi Mikel out of a 23-man squad for this month's 2008 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Niger.

Chelsea's Mikel was axed after failing to report for their match against Uganda in Kampala last weekend, citing injury.

Nigeria lost 2-1, ending their 100 percent record in Group Three, which the former African champions still lead on nine points ahead of Uganda who have seven.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers - Vincent Enyeama (Bnei Yehuda, Israel), Austin Ejide (Bastia), Dele Aiyenugba (Enyimba, Nigeria).

Defenders - Joseph Yobo (Everton), Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille), Rabiu Afolabi (Sochaux), Danny Shittu (Watford), Obinna Nwaneri (FC Sion), Mutiu Adegoke (Asec Mimosa, Ivory Coast), Ifeanyi Onwuatu (Lobi Stars, Nigeria), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow).

Midfielders - Sani Kaita (Sparta Rotterdam), Seyi Olofinjana (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Onyekachi Okonkwo (Orlando Pirates), Olawale Isiaka (Lobi Stars, Nigeria), Oguchi Uche (Lobi Stars).

Forwards - Obafemi Martins (Newcastle), Ayodele Makinwa (Lazio), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth), John Utaka (Rennes), Osaze Odemwingie (Lille), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Middlesbrough), Chukwuma Akabueze (Kwara United, Nigeria).

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