Nigeria drop Anichebe


LAGOS, May 31- Nigeria have dropped Everton striker Victor Anichebe, but included Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi in their final 23-man squad for the World Cup released on Monday.The other surprise exclusions from Nigeria’s World Cup party are Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche and Nice defender Onyekachi Apam, who have both appeared not to have overcome knee injury problems.

Ikechukwu Uche was joint top scorer in the qualifiers with four goals but has been out of action for seven months following 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 up with the rest of the squad Friday after he was certified fit by doctors of his London club.

Nigeria are drawn in Group B along with Argentina, Greece and South Korea and play their first match on June 12 against Argentina.

Nigeria World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv/ISR), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda/ISR), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva/ISR)

Defenders: Taye Taiwo (Marseille/FRA), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes/FRA), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Joseph Yobo (Everton/ENG), Daniel Shittu (Bolton Wanderers/ENG), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam/NED), Rabiu Afolabi (SV Salzburg/AUT)

Midfielders: Kalu Uche (Almeria/ESP), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham/ENG), Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Sani Kaita (Alaniya/RUS), Haruna Lukman (Monaco/FRA), Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev/UKR)

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton/ENG), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim/GER), Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka (Portsmouth/ENG), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg/GER), Obinna Nsofor (Malaga/ESP), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS)