Etuhu wants ban lifted

Combative African hopes Nigeria president will change mind

Etuhu: Wants ban overturned

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Nigeria midfielder Dickson Etuhu is hoping the country's president will overturn a two-year ban he has placed on the team.

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Goodluck Jonathan banned the squad from playing because of their poor performance in the World Cup, where the Super Eagles crashed out in the group stage.

Following defeats to Argentina and Greece and a draw against South Korea, Nigeria finished bottom of the pool and exited early in the first ever tournament to be held on African soil.

Fulham midfielder Etuhu, 28, was not overly critical of the president's decision, but admitted it must be changed.

"At the end of the day we have to respect what the president wants, that's how it goes," he told Sky Sports News.

"But we can't go two years without football, we can't do that. I hope he does take it back because it would be a big loss for Nigeria, for Africa, because we've got a Nations Cup coming and everybody's getting ready for that.

"I just hope he can overturn that.

"He's obviously trying to change things, to make us do better, because we've underachieved for the last few years.

"He wants to get the squad right and the people in and around the national team. That's the line he's going down but I really hope he finds another way of doing it because I really don't want to miss two years of football and I'm sure the rest of the players are the same.

"I can't sit here and tell you what he was thinking but I just hope he does take it back."

Fifa have been highly critical of the decision and have declared they will step in and ban Nigeria from international competitions if they do not reverse the ban.