Super Eagles Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi will automatically not be part of those expected to prosecute next two Nations Cup qualifiers involving Tanzania and Egypt after he picked up a straight red card while featuring against Chad at the weekend in Abuja.
Tanzania will on September welcome Keshi-tutored side at home before Super Eagles face Egypt months later.
Onazi was shown the way out of the pitch on Saturday following his retaliation against a Chadian player who intentionally hit him at the back at the 83rd minute of their opening group G encounter inside Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
The Europe-based star will only stage a return to the national after serving his two-match ban.
Though he got the punishment for his action, Head Coach Stephen Keshi is of the view that the Lazio player could not have reacted differently following the harsh way the Chadian opponent acted earlier.
According to him: “It was caused by the heat of the moment. Even if I’m the one, I would do the same. But the only fault that I saw in Onazi is that, as a player, he knew if you go for retaliation such player have to pay for it.
“I’m not blaming Onazi. It’s just that we are going to miss him for two to three matches because it’s is a direct red card.
Meanwhile, Onazi has apologised for his reaction which ruled him out of two qualifier games.
Onazi who spoke through his twitter account wrote: “I let my team mates and our loyal fans down with my action on the pitch today. I apologise for my actions. Thank you for your usual support.
He added: “Nothing else matters to me at this point than my personal joy and conviction, that of my friends, family and fans and my Well-wishers. Thank you all for your support and praises, even when I don’t deserve them.
“I don’t ever feel like I have the right to refuse the criticism of the same people who praise me even when I don’t deserve it.”