World football governing body, FIFA, has turned down a request by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to honour Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo on his 100 cap–day against France in Brasilia.
Should he be picked for the match by head coach Stephen Keshi, it would be Yobo’s one 100th senior cap for Nigeria, since he featured against Zambia in Chingola in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match that ended 1-1 on 24th March, 2001.
A request was made by the NFF to present a signed official jersey to the 33–year old defender prior to kick–off inside the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, but FIFA insisted it could not go do so.
NFF chiefs have, however, decided to have a brief presentation of the jersey to the player by NFF president, Aminu Maigari, at the team’s Brasilia Palace Hotel after the match.
Yobo, who started his career as a striker and also featured for Nigeria at U-20 level, playing at the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup that Nigeria hosted, has scored seven goals in his previous 99 senior matches.
During this period, he has also won Africa Cup of Nations gold (2013) and bronze medals (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010) and played in three FIFA World Cup finals (2002, 2010 and 2014).
If he features against France, he would be playing in his 10th FIFA World Cup match, more than Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu – the only other Nigerian players to have featured in three FIFA World Cup finals.