Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr has made a number of changes to his squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho next month, including the return from injury of regular skipper Ahmed Musa.
Musa missed the 1-1 draw with Brazil in Singapore, but the Al Nassr forward is now ready to return.
There is also a recall for Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, who Rohr had publicly blamed for the side’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final defeat to Algeria, but has rewarded for some good form in the South African Premier Soccer League.
Midfielder Mikel Agu, who has not played since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, is also brought back into the fold having had a good start to the season with his Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes.
The Super Eagles open their qualifying campaign against Benin in Uyo on November 14 and then travel to Lesotho three days later.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), IkechukwuEzenwa (Heartland FC), Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain), AbdullahiShehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey), ChidozieAwaziem (CD Leganes, Spain), William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy), OlaoluwaAina (Torino FC, Italy), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany), OluwasemilogoAjayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)
Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England), Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia), Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France), Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain), Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium), Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium), Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France),
Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England), Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England).
Pinnick Woos FIFA For Tenure Elongation
The drama, intrigues as well as clandestine moves that have characterised the September 2022 planned Nigeria Football Federation, NFF election took a new twist recently as incumbent president of the federation, Amaju Pinnick has written to FIFA seeking for tenure extension by shifting the election to 2023
According to Tidesports sources, in a letter sent to the world body last week and signed by General Secretary, Muhhamed Sanusi, the outgoing board led by Amaju Pinnick appealed to the world body to allow it to hold the forthcoming election next year’s January instead September.
Amaju Pinnick and his board were reelected for a second term in office on September 20, 2018 in Katsina and his tenure is meant to elapse next month.
However, sources revealed that the letter was already sent to FIFA before the NFF topshots informed the board members in an online platform of the federation.
The plan is to read the FIFA response at the AGA expected to take place this week in Bayelsa State.
The source added that the members were irked that a few people on the board took such a decision without informing others from the beginning and they are hoping to use the response to extend their tenure at the Annual General Assembly scheduled for Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It is indeed a taboo. Rather than get the consent of the board members and the Congress before sending the letter to FIFA, the letter was sent.
“There is no doubt, a few people at the top echelon of the current board want to remain in office beyond the September date,” our source revealed.
“There is a tentative date of August 16 for the AGA in Bayelsa and another date of September 21 for the elective Congress in a yet to be decided venue but it is clear the current board is reluctant to leave office.
“The majority of the board members are resolute to take out this current leadership for so many reasons especially because many of them were never informed about crucial decisive issues in the administration of the game,” a source told Tidesports source
Although Amaju Pinnick had stated time without number that he would not seek a new term in office, the former Delta State FA Chairman recently said that “influential people” are pushing him to contest for a 3rd term.
Nigeria U-21 Volleyball Team Departs For Tunisia
As the team departed for Tunisia at the weekend for the African U-21 Volleyball Championship Nations Cup, President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod, has said that the country is all out to gain from the outing to qualify for the World Championship.
He stated this while biding the team farewell at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Friday, adding that the target for the participation of Nigeria is to qualify for the world championship, stressing that, “We are also building them up for the All African Games next year and the next Olympics,” he said.
Also Speaking with Sports Writers, Coach Sani Mohammed Musa of the male U-21 men, said that the team are African champions and have featured in World Championship twice.
He said that bearing in mind that the North Africans would be battle ready for Nigeria, they will leave no stone unturned to ensuring they achieved their objectives.
Female Footballers, Officials Abducted In Edo
Six people, which include players and officials of a grassroots female team, have been reportedly kidnapped by gunmen in Uronigbe, a border community between Edo and Delta states in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Tidesports learnt that the six victims were kidnapped around 6pm on Friday, while returning from a game at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
A source in the community said the kidnappers had contacted some families demanding a ransom of N5million each for the victims.
He said, “They (footballers) went to Owa-Alero to play a football match, but on their way back, they were kidnapped at Uronigbe area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
“The victims include Mrs Precious Agbajor, one Abraham, Nancy, Beatrice, the driver and one other person. They are six in number that are in the kidnapper’s den.
Tidesports learned that the matter has been reported at the Uronigbe police station.
“The kidnappers have contacted the family of Agbajor and asked them to pay N5million for his wife.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the kidnap, adding that the incident happened in Edo State.
His Edo State counterpart, Chidi Nwabuzor, said from the records available at the State Command, there was no information on the incident.
“You know we transmit our records to Force Headquarters everyday. There is no such record before us. From the Command’s record, no such incident happened on Friday, so the police will not give account of anything unreported.
“It is only when an incident is reported that the police can act on it. In most cases, citizens are not aware of the powers to report incidents. So the record I have from the Command is that no such incident happened on Friday, Saturday and even on Thursday.”
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