Olympic Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf has called up Gift Emmanuel Orban and 15 other players ahead of Nigeria’s U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
It will be recalled that earlier in March, Yusuf named his 30-man squad for the games against Guinea, including four goalkeepers, eight defenders, ten midfielders, and eight attackers but it was discovered that more than half of the team either had their passports with different ages or, had ages different from the ones on the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS).
Yusuf, the team’s head coach, has now named a fresh shortlist of 16 players, all of whom are foreign-based, to replace those who have been ordered to leave the camp.
The Olympic Eagles trade tackles with their Guinean counterparts in a first-leg encounter scheduled for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja from 4pm on Wednesday, 22nd March, with the return set for the Complexe Sportif Prince Heritier Moulay Al Hassan from 7pm Morocco time on Tuesday, 28th March. Guinea does not have any venue approved in the country for international matches.
Yusuf’s list of invitees is headed by team captain Success Makanjuola, whose two converted spot kicks against Tanzania earned the 1996 Olympic gold medallists passage to this final round.
The winner on aggregate will qualify for the Africa U23 Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco later this year, at which Africa’s flag bearers at next year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament will emerge.