Norwich City defender Joseph Yobo pulls out of Nigeria friendly in USA

In-form Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is shackled by Joseph Yobo at Carrow Road on Sunday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images In-form Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is shackled by Joseph Yobo at Carrow Road on Sunday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
11:54 AM

Norwich City defender Joseph Yobo has pulled out of Nigeria’s friendly against Mexico in the USA.

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South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, left, hands the African Cup of Nations trophy to Nigeria's team captain Joseph Yobo after they defeated Burkina Faso in the final at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, left, hands the African Cup of Nations trophy to Nigeria's team captain Joseph Yobo after they defeated Burkina Faso in the final at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

The centre-back, who joined City on loan from Fenerbahçe in January, was due to make his first appearance for his country since captaining them to African Cup of Nations glory in South Africa in February 2013.

The former Everton skipper’s good start to his loan spell at Carrow Road had seen the 33-year-old called back into head coach Stephen Keshi’s squad.

The Super Eagles were due to take on Mexico at the Georgia Dome Stadium in Atlanta tomorrow night, with more than 60,000 tickets sold for the game, which would have kicked-off at 8.30pm local time (1.30am UK time).

However Yobo, who played 90 minutes of City’s 4-1 loss at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, has pulled out of the match with an “unspecified strain”.

Joseph Yobo’s Norwich City career so far

February 8 – Norwich City 0 Manchester City 0

February 11 – West Ham 2 Norwich City 0

February 23 – Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

March 2 – Aston Villa 4 Norwich City 1

(Yobo has started and finished all four of his matches for the Canaries so far)

The 8,000-mile round trip was never going to be ideal for City or Yobo, who has been capped 95 times by his country, with a crunch Premier League game at home against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon hurtling into view.

Yobo has been replaced by uncapped 25-year-old defender Leon Balogun and misses out on a chance to impress ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, where the African nation are in Group F alongside Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Iran.

“The game against Mexico is crucial for players like Balogun and others who are keen to make a good impression ahead of the World Cup,” Nigeria media officer Ben Alaiya told BBC Sport.

Yobo joins fellow Canaries defender Martin Olsson in pulling out of international duty this week.

Olsson pulled out of Sweden’s midweek friendly against Turkey with a shoulder injury that will require surgery in the summer.

Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer

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14 comments

  • I'm afraid nothing is getting past Archie today, Gek. Surprising really. I thought he'd be too busy planning an invasion of Ukraine to worry about my innocuous jottings. Maybe I'll try later when he's on a conference call with that laugh-a-minute fellow Vladimir the Impaler.

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Dear Mad Brewer, the content of your posts are continually long winded, irrelevant drivel. However, your grammar and punctuation skills are unquestionably superb. Are you available for freelance proofreading assignments as I have a potential job waiting for you?

    Report this comment

    A fine city

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Sorry, Brewer. I defended your honour against the curiously named "Fine City" but I wasn't very honourable towards the one who would dis mijn vriend. My comment survived the night but when Archie arrived at work, he took it down. Apparently, Fine City has several irons in the fire, so if you decide to accept his job offer, you'll be able to tell him to stick his proof reading assignments with his other irons.

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • First goal you could argue we should have pressed the long ball before it was released. Too much time and space to pick out Benteke...

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    danpez

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Similar problems, Blaff, mijn oud broeder. I`m paling at the thought of trying again, and I won`t stake my life on this getting through. Archie believes Ukraine is in the Baltic and Crimea is the posh part of Heartsease.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I thought Yobo was actually one of our better players on Sunday, the first goal was one of those special goals few could do anything about. Yobo certainly marked him tightly and could do little else to stop the shot going in. The team failure in that goal was down to the midfield not closing the passer down, crazy considering we were outnumbering them in central midfield to start with. The second goal may not have been scored had Yobo been marking Benteke, even my old granny could have attempted to jump in front of him for that cross. I for one still think Shackle has a lot to offer and would rather have him at the club right now as he is left footed. Good luck to him and Burnley, I suspect they will put up a better fight than us right now to stay in the league.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • ….The 'Colney Curse ' hits another!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • An 'unspecified strain' - ouch, sounds nasty! I had not realised that Yobo had not played first team football for Fenerbache since August. Might explain Sundays performance!

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    Cap Canary

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Of course MB, the difference is that we do not need players whop are capable of getting into the Premiership, we need players who are capable of keeping us there.

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • ...Signed Gek.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Yes, I noticed they "retro-spelled" Fenerbahce, but still no cedilla. Would have thought Archie cold afford a multi-lingual keyboard. BTW, you know perfectly well it's called a cedilla (hence the "Cedilla Black" quip), so why play dumb with talk of "squiggly things"? Mattias is very quiet today. Maybe he threw an "all-nighter" with his solicitor to finalise his Pistoriesque defence. I knew that his torrent of tetchy tirades would land him in trouble. He should admit the charges and salvage some credit for a guilty plea. Of course, it could be that he's bored by the prospect international friendlies. It's difficult to get excited about our national team when foreign money, managers and players have done so much damage to our prospects of success. There again, NCFC has English owners, an English coach and more British players than most PL clubs.........and it hasn't done them much good. Stof tot nadenken. Wijs.

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Thankyou indeed, Blaffen Wijs. I don`t recall ever having any dialogue with A fine city, but it is deeply gratifying to know that I meet with his disapproval. I take that as a compliment. I`m also pleased that Archie has, at last, got Fenerbahce right, even down to the squiggly thing (which I cannot do without researching the Arthur Ascii Codes). To fine city I say that all I want are the proofreading fees already owed to me by Archie; I have no career ambitions in that direction. Thanks for your comment on Jason Shackell, TK. Coming from you, I see that as vindication. Mijn vriend Blaffen, that Archie saw fit to retro-delete your defence of me is strongly indicative of fine city being an Archant apparatchik. Why else would a total stranger decide to `dis` me? Not that I GAF! Gek.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Not wanting to doubt the strength of your old granny TK, but I doubt that she could have jumped for the ball with Benteke riding on her shoulders, like he was riding on Bassong's.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Encouraging to see that Archie still cannot spell. It`s `Fenerbahce`, Archie. With a squiggly thing on the bottom of the `C`. The picture shows Yobo `shackling` Adebayor. An ex-City centre back, currently playing for Burnley, could be back in the Prem next season - Jason Shackell. Btw, that `squiggly thing` - my pal Cedilla Black just phoned to tell me what it`s called.... Cap Canary, Gutierrez is another loan signing that has quickly succumbed to an injury. Calf strain? They`re all feeling the strain now, except Becchio. Isn`t he lazy? Never wants to play.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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