Rustenburg - Contrary to speculations, the engine room of Nigeria’s midfield, Mikel Obi, will not miss the potentially difficult quarter-final match against Cote d’Ivoire, after he was given a yellow card in the match against Ethiopia.
Mikel is free to play the quarter-final match on Sunday, because he was not given any caution in Nigeria’s opening game against Burkina Faso last week.
A call to the office of the Africa Football Confederation (CAF) in Johannesburg also confirmed that Mikel was not cautioned in the game with either Burkina Faso or Zambia.
However, Fegor Ogude will miss the quarter-finals as Ambrose Efe, who has served his two match-suspension, returns.
Fegor got his yellow card in the 24th minute of the game with Burkina Faso, after he tripped Jonathan Pitroipa.
He got another yellow card in the match against Ethiopia in the 63rd minute, barely a minute after Sunday Mba was also cautioned.
According to the rules, any player with two yellow cards in the group games will miss the next match, hence Ogude will not play on Sunday.
Meanwhile, all the other Nigerian players who got just a yellow card in the first round - Godfrey Oboabona, Nosa Igiebor, Ahmed
Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba - will have the cautions wiped out in the second phase of the competition.