Champion League Chase, Keeps Olarenwaju from Corsica Match
BY WALE AJAYI
The UEFA champions’ league spot chasing Austria Wien is responsible for the recent substitution of Kayode Olarenwaju in the list of players called up by Nigeria for the friendly matches with Corsica and Togo.
The top scoring Olarenwaju in the Austrian league has only been capped once by Nigeria and will be missing what could have been his second Grade A cap when Nigeria face Togo early in June.
Sports Village Square gathered that the player who is also gunning for the top scorer’s award in the Austrian Bundesliga was excused from the proposed friendly games to enable him spearhead the attack line of his club, FK Austria Wien in the final league games of the season.
In his place, the Super Eagles’ technical crew called up KAS Eupen of Belgium top marksman, Henry Onyekuru, late on Thursday.
Kayode told Sports Village Square that he had already given the Super Eagles’ coaches his words regarding his availability for the friendlies after discussion with his club’s management but recent developments in the league which now sees Austria Wien sit in second place with 60 points, twelve behind table toppers Salzburg FC, and just three points ahead of third placed Sturm Graz, explains why it has become very important for him to help the club in their last few games of the season.
This Saturday, Wien will visit Wolfsberger AC while on Thursday they will host league champions, Salzburg in Vienna. Victory in both games will all but guarantee automatic qualification for the UEFA champions league, a competition that means so much to the Vienna based club.
After that match, Austria Wien will visit Admira FC in their very last match of the season on Sunday May 28. The result of the Admira game will be inconsequential so long as they win the games with Wolfsberger AC and Salzburg.
Kayode who has already scored 16 league goals and have eight assists to his name this season, holds the ace to Austria Wien’s champions’ league ambition.
No wonder the club pleaded that the former Maccabi Natanya FC of Israel striker be allowed to play at least, their last two matches of the season before he is released to honour Super Eagles’ assignments.
“I was not dropped he told Sports Village Square in a telephone conversation on Thursday night after his name was conspicuously missing from the delegation that will travel to the little French region of Corsica before returning to Paris for the match with Togo.
“I spoke with Tunde Adelakun a close confidant to the coach who told me to join up with the team when I am through with club commitments.
“My club needs me to score the goals that will guarantee UEFA Champions League qualification and they are saying the friendly games are not on a FIFA free window so I cannot compel them to release me.
“I really want to wear the Super Eagles jersey again after my London experience and am confident, based on assurances from Tunde Adelakun that my name will be on the list that will tackle South Africa on June 10.
“I will like to use this medium to thank the national team handlers for believing in me and for counting me worthy. I promise that if given another chance, I will deliver the goals.
“My dream is to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup in Russia and the Nations cup in Cameroon. Am very confident both objectives are achievable that’s is why I want to give it my all he concluded”
Kayode is currently joint top scorer of the Austrian Bundesliga on 16 league goals from 33 matches with Deni Alar of Sturm Graz and he is on track to be voted the most valuable player of the club at the season ending gala night event