The then-Manchester City player was involved in a get-together before the 2002 tournament but withdrew through injury. The Super Eagles were then put out when they believed he had later turned out for England Under-21s.
Although this did not preclude him from playing for them, they wanted an apology before considering him for selection again. The player was oblivious to this until this month, when it was pointed out to the Nigerian FA that it was his brother Kelvin who had represented the Three Lions.
The Nigerians responded by calling Etuhu up for this week's friendly against Macedonia in Skopje, but the fax did not reach the manager's desk until Monday morning - too late for the 25-year-old to play.