31st December, 2021
By Victor Okoye
Health concerns and injuries have caused changes to Nigeria’s final 28-man list for the upcoming 33rd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) starting in Cameroon on Jan. 9, 2022.
A statement by Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday in Abuja, said that the changes were necessitated by health concerns and injuries to some key players of the squad.
“Lively forward Victor Osimhen’s positive test to the coronavirus pandemic a couple of days ago and injury to the versatile Abdullahi Shehu have constrained changes to the initial final 28-man list for the 2021 AFCON.
“The goalkeeping department is untouched, but the forced exclusion of Cyprus–based Shehu, who can slot easily into sections of the defence and midfield, has made way for hard-as-nails right back Tyrone Ebuehi, now with Venezia in the Italian Serie A.
“England–based Oluwasemilogo Ajayi returns to the group for Africa’s flagship football championship following injury to centre-back Leon Balogun. Ajayi can also play as a midfielder.
“Osimhen’s absence paves the way for Greece-based Henry Onyekuru who was also at the last finals in Egypt.
“In-form rapid raider Emmanuel Dennis, whose English Premiership club is baring fangs, has been excused to provide room for Czech Republic–based forward Peter Olayinka,” Olajire said.
SUPER EAGLES’ SQUAD FOR 33RD AFCON CAMEROON 2021
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); William Ekong (Watford FC, England)
Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Tyrone Ebuehi (Venezia FC, Italy); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic).