Nigeria Not Seeded In Nations Cup Draws

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Super Eagles of Nigeria will not be seeded when the draws for the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations are held on 24 October.

The hosts, South Africa, Africa Champions, Zambia, Ivory Coast and Ghana are the other top seeds,

Nigeria will be in pot 2 along with Mali, Tunisia and Angola.

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco and Niger in Pot 3, while Togo, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia in Pot 4.

Confederation of Africa Football, CAF says in a statement Monday that seeding is based on results from the past three Cup of Nations tournaments in Ghana, Angola and
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, rather than FIFA rankings, and, theoretically, keeps the “big guns” apart.

Record seven-time champions Egypt and four-time title holders Cameroon are the most glaring absentees, both also missed the 2011 event with ageing teams eliminated by Central African Republic and Cape Verde respectively.

Johannesburg will stage the 19 January opening double-header and the final at the 93 000-seat Soccer City stadium with the other 29 games divided between Durban, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg.

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Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi is contemplating fielding Newcastle’s Shola Ameobi in the Nations Cup in January.

Alan Pardew breathed a huge sigh of relief on Saturday when Senegal saw their involvement in the qualification process come to an end amid chaotic scenes – freeing Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba for New Year duty in the Premier League.

He will still be without Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote, who could potentially be missing until early February, but appeared set to keep his striking pool intact.

That may no longer be the case, with Nigeria revealing that they would be prepared to draft Ameobi into their squad if the former England U21 international expresses an interest in joining their ranks.

“Shola is a good striker and he has a chance to be on the plane to South Africa,” said Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi.

“I’ve been watching him closely and he’s got something unique. He will definitely bring something different to the attack. I have Shola and Everton’s Victor Anichebe in my striking plans.”