Storm brewing over Olympian Kanu

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The Independent Online

The fears of Arsenal and Chelsea were confirmed tonight when Kanu and Celestine Babayaro were named in Nigeria's provisional squad for the Sydney Olympics.

The fears of Arsenal and Chelsea were confirmed tonight when Kanu and Celestine Babayaro were named in Nigeria's provisional squad for the Sydney Olympics.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said last week that Highbury striker Kanu would not be going to the Olympics as he could miss up to five Premiership games and three Champions League ties.

But if the player obeys the wishes of his country, Kanu will fly to Sydney in the first week of September and, if Nigeria are successful in defending their title, may not return until after the final on September 30.

The Nigerian Football Association and Chelsea have also clashed over the release of defender Babayaro for Olympic qualifying games.

National team coach Jo Bonfrere has, however, included more than the three over-aged players allowed for the Under-23 competition possibly to accommodate a last-minute withdrawal by any of the country's top stars.

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