Date: 5th February 2007 at 8:47pm
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Newcastle United have released Obafemi Martins to play for Nigeria.

The move defuses a potential club versus country row that seemed to be brewing. A spokesman for Newcastle United said: ‘Newcastle wish to make it clear the club has not refused Martins permission to join up with the Nigerian squad.

“The club has written to the Nigerian FA to make that clear.’

The Nigerian FA had threatened to report Newcastle to FIFA if Martins was not released.

The situation, however, will not be seen as ideal by manager Glenn Roeder who is aware that any injury to Martins will leave Newcastle without a recognised striker in the side.