Eagles Confident

Nigerian football officials are hopeful that Joseph Yobo will be included in their squad for their friendly against Japan on 20 August.

David Moyes has already voiced his objections to releasing Yobo for the Nations' Cup warm-up fixture, as it falls four days before the start of the season and just three days before Everton's Premiership clash with Fulham.

The Super Eagles are due to take on Japan in Tokyo on 20 August as part of their build-up to next year's Nations Cup.

But the team had expected to be without Bolton captain Okocha and Everton's Yobo because their clubs are reluctant to let them go.

However, although the game does not fall on a FIFA recognised day for internationals, the Nigerian FA are adamant that Yobo should travel to the Far East.

"We wish to use our best team for the match in Japan and that would include having both Joseph Yobo and Jay-Jay Okocha," said Samual Kaalu.

"Even though the match falls on a Fifa free day, we won't be confrontational but we will try to persuade the clubs to release them for the trip.

"The chairman will be in England this week and he plans to meet with both Bolton and Everton to discuss the players' international commitments.

"Hopefully we should all be able to reach a kind of understanding.

"We do not get the opportunity to parade our top players very often so when the opportunity does avail itself, we should grab it so that the players can blend as a team," he concluded.

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