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We ‘ll Cope With Alhassan’s Absence, Says Akwa United Coach





The trio of Alhassan Ibrahim, Aremu Afeez and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi will not be available for selection this weekend when Akwa United engage ABS in the Nigerian league.

But Coach Abdu Maikaba says he is optimistic that the absence of the three players will not negatively affect his plans for the match.


The club’s top scorer Alhassan Ibrahim who has scored ten goals in 17 matches is currently in Super Eagles training camp in France while Aremu Afeez and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi will miss the match due to suspension.

Aremu was sent off in the second half of the match against MFM in Lagos last week following two yellow cards while Ifeanyi received his fifth yellow card of the season also in the match in Lagos meaning he will serve a one match suspension.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s game, Coach Maikaba said, “Our top three players will not play against ABS on Sunday but that will not affect us in any way because we are a professional club with lot of quality players who are hungry to play. Some of them may even want to prove a point once they have the opportunity.”

“Alhassan, Aremu and Ifeanyi are top quality players any coach would love to have around in every match. But we have capable replacements in all the departments, so we will not miss them when we play ABS on Sunday”.

“Alhassan is our top scorer with ten goals but there are matches we won convincingly without him.


“I believe this match will offer some players the opportunity to step up their game. We are unbeaten at home and we will love to continue with that form”.

The match will be one of match day 21fixtures in the Nigeria Professional Football League and it is scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio international stadium, the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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