Shola Ameobi 'not going' to Africa Cup of Nations

Shola Ameobi

Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi will not be going to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, according to his manager Alan Pardew.

The former England under-21 international had been named by coach Stephen Keshi

But Pardew has ruled out the 31-year-old's appearance at the tournament, which kicks off on 19 January.

He said: "Shola won't be going. The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself."

Pardew's comments come despite Ameobi himself saying that he would be keen to play for the Super Eagles if picked.

Ameobi was born in Zaria, northern Nigeria, before moving to England with his parents at the age of five.

Under Fifa rules, players who have represented one country at junior level can play for another at senior level if they meet the qualifying criteria.

Ameobi was first called-up by the Super Eagles 10 years ago but turned down the invitation on the grounds that his heart was set on playing for England.

He was cleared by Fifa to play for the country of his birth last month

He made his debut in a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela last month, setting up the third goal in Miami, Florida.

Nigeria will take on African champions Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso in Group C.

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