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North deserves more players in Super Eagles — Yakasai

A football enthusiast, Kabiru Yakasai, has queried the inclusion of only one player from the north in the present Super Eagles squad for the two…

A football enthusiast, Kabiru Yakasai, has queried the inclusion of only one player from the north in the present Super Eagles squad for the two 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Royal Antwerp of Belgium star, Alhassan Yusuf, is the only northerner in the 23-man squad of the Super Eagles for the matches slated for June 7 in Uyo and June 10 in Abidjan.

In a statement made available to Daily Trust, Yakasi said the north with her enormous contribution to Nigerian football deserves more players in the senior national team.

He said “Finidi’s selection of Alhassan Yusuf as the sole representative from the region has been seen as a token gesture, doing little to quell the criticism. The vast pool of talents from the North, which has contributed significantly to Nigerian football, deserves more representation than just a solitary selection.

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“His decision to overlook the traditional mix of southern and northern players in the Eagles’ squad is a departure from the team’s historic culture of unity and inclusivity

“During his playing days, Finidi had the privilege of sharing the pitch with talented players from the northern region, including his present assistant, Daniel Amokachi, late Rashidi Yekini, Garba Lawal, Tijjani Babangida, etc. This blend of players from different backgrounds was a key factor in the team’s success and fostered a sense of national pride.

“By neglecting this tradition, Finidi’s selection raises concerns about the team’s cohesion and Nigeria’s football identity.”

Yakasai also expressed disappointment that while considering home-based players for the Super Eagles, Finidi again overlooked northern players who are doing very well for different clubs in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).

“The selection of home-based players from the southern region alone while overlooking talented players like in-form Sani Suleiman of Akwa United, the sensational Yusuf Abdullahi, Faisal Sani of Kano Pillars and the magical Naziru Auwalu of Enugu Rangers, also raises concerns about regional bias and its implications on the team’s unity and success,” he said.

Yakasai, therefore said “Finidi is setting a dangerous precedent, potentially leading to further polarization and discrimination within the team.”


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