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Ahmed Musa thought he had 100 caps for Nigeria... until FIFA said he didn't

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Nigeria striker Ahmed Musa spent 24 hours after the Super Eagles' 2-1 win over Cape Verde thinking he'd reached 100 international caps for his country, before FIFA popped the party balloon by rescinding two of them.

The World Cup qualifiers earlier this month seemingly gave Musa, who was clubless for much of the year, his century, ostensibly making him only the third person to reach that mark for the country after Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama.

But FIFA said that Musa's appearances in the 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly match in Paris in June 2017, and the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier against Algeria in Constantine in November 2017, did not count.

The match against Togo was struck off as both Nigeria and Togo made more than the regular number of changes in the game. The encounter in Constantine, which ended 1-1, was removed because Nigeria fielded an ineligible player and Algeria was awarded the game.

The NFF's Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire said in a statement: "We defer to FIFA in this regard, so Ahmed Musa has 98 caps.

"If he features, as expected, in the home-and-away matches against Central African Republic in October, he will clock the tally of 100 and the celebrations will follow in full flow."

Although the celebrations were postponed until the next international break in October, former captain Enyeama, who holds the current appearance record at 101, says Musa will still make his century.

"I always knew he would get to hundred caps," Enyeama told ESPN. "I [know he will] break that record because he has been consistent, and he has been one of the few Nigerians that have always showed up to play in the team whenever he has been called up."

Beyond just hitting the century mark, Enyeama is confident that the Fatih Karagümrük striker, who is 28, will not only surpass his 101 appearances mark, but could go as high as 130 caps for Nigeria.

Enyeama added: "If he is in good health, I think Musa can get up to 130 caps. He is doing well, he is the captain of the team. With the time he has, he can still get up to 40 more games for the country, comfortably.

"Musa is a top player. I want him to make 130-140 easy. Musa can comfortably play two Afcons and that is 12 games already. Then another set of qualifiers. And another World Cup to crown it off. He can achieve it without any push."

Musa made his debut for Nigeria in 2010 under former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia, and has been a regular in the side since, except for a brief period when he was off form and left out of the team.

Enyeama says that level of commitment is what it takes to be reach the 100-cap mark: "To be able to do this takes commitment, consistency, and dedication on the part of the player to always answer national team invitations. That is how you gain more experience."

With Musa's induction into the century club on hold, Yobo, on 100 caps and Enyeama on 101, are the only two Nigerian players, men or women, to have reached that mark.

It is a situation that has left the former goalkeeper very unhappy: "One hundred caps is nothing. I think is a shame that we have only two players that have played for Nigeria up to 100 times.

"It is a big shame, because with the quality we have in Nigeria we should have more. That shows that there is a lack of continuity, consistency, commitment on the part of the players and management.

"Look at other top football countries, you will find that many of their players, active and retired, have more than 100 caps. But we have players in Nigeria playing 10 to 15 years and still don't get up to 100 caps because these coaches come in and change players all the time.

"Players like JayJay (Okocha), Peter Rufai, Kanu deserve to have more than 100 caps. It is sad that Mikel could not get up to 100 because he was very close to it. Going forward we need to do better. We need more players to get there."

As Musa was prematurely celebrating his 100 caps, defender William Troost-Ekong, Musa's vice-captain, was clocking a half century. Enyeama says it is a s sign of the changing times and why more needs to be done to get players to play more games.

William started playing in 2015 and he is already on 50. Imagine that he got 50 caps so soon, he should be able to get 100 caps within the next few years, easy. It is all about consistency from the players and the officials."

While Musa himself was left disappointed by the truncated record, he remained philosophical about the future: "What will be will be. If it is going to happen, it is going to happen. If not, that is okay."