Saturday, June 22, 2024

Long-Time Absentees, Debutant Highlight Super Eagles’ Call-Ups For 2026 World Cup Qualifiers

Two players, Defender Jamilu Collins and striker Sadiq Umar are making their return to the Super Eagles as the kick-off to 2026 World Cup is about to take place.

Both players have been laid off from the team for a while owing to injuries. They are joined by debuntant, Nathan Tella a forward with Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen.

The trio are part of the 23 call-ups by head coach, Jose Santos Peseiro who has also invited goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielders Alex Iwobi and Frank Onyeka, and forwards Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi.

The current call-ups will prosecute the first two of Nigeria’s 10 World Cup qualifying matches.

The two matches are the home game next week against Lesotho and that will immediately be followed by an away duel with Zimbabwe.

The other players called up are  goalkeepers Francis Uzoho and Olorunleke Ojo, defenders Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Bright Osayi-Samuel, midfielder Raphael Onyedika and forwards Ademola Lookman, Victor Boniface and Terem Moffi.

Previously familiar faces like captain Ahmed Musa and his deputy, William Troost-Ekong are notable absentees.

The Super Eagles kick-start their race to the World Cup in the United States of America, Mexico and Canada in 2026 with a session against the Likuena “Crocodiles” of Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo next week Thursday, and then fly to Rwanda for a clash with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium in Butare on Sunday, 19th November.

The 20,000-capacity Huye Stadium, located in the city of Butare which is 135 kilometres south of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, has an artificial turf.

Zimbabwe has adopted Rwanda as home for the qualifiers as no stadium in the southern African nation has been deemed fit to host the FIFA World Cup qualifying games.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Maduka Okoye (Udinese Calcio, Italy)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales)

Midfielders: Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad, Spain); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

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