The Chairman of the organising committee for the 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, has said that players who won’t play for their countries are, “…selfish and egotistical”.

Nonkonyana told BBC Sport that, “It cannot be right for any player produced (in Africa) to say, I prefer my club”.

The comments are aimed at the likes of Ghama’s Michael Essien who has said his priority is to secure his long-term club future (currently on loan at Real Madrid from Chelsea) and Steven Pienaar of South Africa, who has said he was, “…physically struggling to balance the demands of playing in England with the number of games required by South Africa”.

In Newcastle United’s case we thankfully swerved the nightmare of Ba and Cisse both being away for a key part of the season, while with Cheick Tiote he is a key part of their team and it would be very harsh to expect him to compromise his international future”.

However, what about the case of Shola Ameobi?

Yes we all love Shola and he’s become a bit of a cult here but if results/injuries dictated that Newcastle United desperately needed him, should we expect him to give up (if selected for Nigeria) his African Nations adventure?

Nonkonyana added, “The gentlemen we are talking about are megastars as a direct result of the contribution of their national associations.

It is time for all of us football administrators across the world to fight and uproot this scourge, this club versus country issue.

I would say to Steven Pienaar, he must remember that he came from the ghettos in South Africa and he became a national player because the South African FA identified him and developed him”.

Shola’s case is totally different to the likes of Pienaar in my opinion, quite clearly Newcastle United have made Shola the player he is today and paid him for many mainly unproductive years.

Growing up on the mean streets of Newcastle is a bit different to Pienaar owing a debt to the people he grew up with in the ghetto.

If Alan Pardew said that he needed Shola, I would personally be very disappointed if he chose Nigeria over Newcastle.

A crucial stage of what is proving a very difficult season, would he turn his back on the club and people who have made him what he is today?

What do you think?