Napoli striker Victor Osimhen will not be a part of the Super Eagles team to play at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced.
Also, Watford attacker Emmanuel Dennis, Cyprus-based Abdullahi Shehu, and center-back Leon Balogun will not be part of the squad.
The NFF in a statement released on Friday gave reasons why the players will not be part of the team and named new players that have been called up as replacements.
Osimhen was dropped from the squad after he tested positive for coronavirus, while he is also yet to recover fully from the facial injury he suffered in November.
New players called up as replacements include Henry Onyekuru, Peter Olayinka, Tyronne Ebuehi, and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi.
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to hold January 2022 in Cameroon.
See the full statement by NFF below…
Health concerns, injuries constrain changes to Nigeria’s final 28-man list for AFCON 2021
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 Nigeria’s final 28-man list for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations starting in Cameroon next weekend.
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, and 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 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.
The 33rd Africa Cup of Nations finals will end on 6th February.
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)