In-form Odemwingie dropped from Nigeria squad

In-form Odemwingie dropped from Nigeria squad

Published May. 19, 2011 7:30 p.m. ET

In-form West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie has been dropped by Nigeria for leaving a training camp without permission.

Odemwingie was left out of a 24-man squad announced Thursday for the June 1 friendly against Argentina and an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Ethiopia three days later.

He has scored 15 goals in an impressive debut season in the English Premier League.

The 29-year-old forward was dumped as punishment after returning to England following Nigeria's 4-0 home qualifying win against Ethiopia in March and missing a friendly against Kenya, the federation said.


''It's because he walked out of the camp last time without telling anyone where he was going,'' Nigerian Football Federation spokesman Ademola Olajire told The Associated Press.

Odemwingie has criticized Nigeria coach Samson Siasia on Twitter, saying the coach had ''issues'' for being angry with him for not playing in the Kenya friendly. Odemwingie said he was injured.

Olajire said the punishment had nothing to do with Odemwingie's Twitter comments. At his squad announcement, Siasia said Odemwingie would be welcomed back once he explained why he walked out.

Marseille left back Taye Taiwo, Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel are in the squad. Also included were strikers Peter Utaka and Ikechukwu Uche - the two scorers against Ethiopia, Nigeria's last competitive opponent.

Nigeria is second in Group B at the halfway stage in qualifying for the 2012 African Cup, a point behind leader Guinea with three games to go.