Defender Kenneth Omeruo and forward Moses Simon were among the first to arrive at the Super Eagles Hotel die Zeit an der Glan in Austria yesterday, ahead of international friendly matches against African champion Algeria and second African team Tunisia.
Forwards Samuel Kalu and Chidera Ejuke, defender Leon Balogun and goalkeeper Mathew Yakubu were also in the early risers corps. Hours later, England defenders William Ekong, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Olaoluwa Aina, as well as forward Kelechi Iheanacho, landed in Austria. Right behind them were goalkeeper Dele Alampasu, defender Jamilu Collins, midfielder Frank Onyeka and forwards Cyril Dessers and Alex Iwobi. The other invited players were expected to be at camp Monday night.
Additionally, while contemplating the imminent approval of his international move to the Nigeria Super Eagles, former Germany U-20 captain Kevin Akpoguma arrived at the team’s hotel in Austria to familiarize himself with the Nigerian setup and bond with the other players.
Nigeria, the three-time African champion, will meet Fennecs in form at Jacques Lemans Arena on Friday before taking on 2004 African champion Tunisia at the same venue on Tuesday next week.
Manager Gernot Rohr would have to dispense with three of his initial guests, and Turkish midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo suffered a blow on Sunday, following a previous injury to Wilfred Ndidi and permission granted to Italian forward Victor Osimhen not to participate in matches.
It is the first meeting of the Super Eagles this year, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down soccer globally since March, just ahead of a rapid-fire double AFCON qualification series with Sierra Leone now taking place. in November.
The organizers of the match, Eurodata Sport, have clarified that no fan will be allowed to enter the stadium in either of the two matches, in accordance with the current protocols on the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation has asked television networks interested in bringing the matches live to Nigerians’ homes to immediately contact the Federation about the modalities to achieve this. Interested stations can contact NFF Deputy Director / Chief Marketing Officer Alizor Chuks by calling 08036018023. Both matches will start at 8.30 pm Austrian time (9.30 pm Nigerian time).
THE COMPLETE LIST
Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganés, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemologist Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, The Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)
Forward: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Be placed: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France)