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Osimhen, Chukwueze, Ndidi to miss Nigeria’s World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho, Zimbabwe

Victor Osimhem. | File Photo

.Enyimba’s keeper, Olorunleke Ojo, makes list

Super Eagles of Nigeria are in Group C of the qualification series alongside South Africa, Rwanda, and Benin, Zimbabwe and Lesotho

By Valentine Amanze

Napoli and Super Eagles of Nigeria striker, Victor Osimhen; AC Milan’s winger, Samuel Chukwueze; and Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, will not feature in Super Eagles’ Group C 2026 World Cup matches with the Crocodiles of Lesotho and Harambe Stars of Zimbabwe, which kick-off on November 16, 2023.

The players, who were said to be nursing injuries, were mot included in the list of players released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday November 9, 2023.

Osimhen sustained ankle injury in Nigeria’s friendly match against Saudi Arabia, while Ndidi and Chukwueze got theirs playing for their clubs.

Also read: Saudi Arabia draw 2-2 against Super Eagles

Nigeria, three-time African champions, will face the Crocodiles of Lesotho on November 16 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo before locking horns with Zimbabwe on the 19th of the same month.

A snapshot of the list shows Nigeria are heading into the games with 23 players including one home-based Enyimba’s keeper, Olorunleke Ojo, as they begin their quest for a place in the global football fiesta billed for the U.S, Mexico, and Canada.

 But, surprisingly, the under–fire goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, made the list.

They are in Group C of the qualification series alongside South Africa, Rwanda, and Benin, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Full list of 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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