The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reinstated the controversial Sunday Faleye as Shooting Stars’ player in its list of trophy-hunting African Nations Cup Championship squad which will depart Nigerian shores for Morocco on Monday.
In the earlier list released, Faleye was listed as a player of Akwa United – the club which management has denied the player on account that negotiation for the player’s signature failed.
The controversy however does not affect the player’s status as a member of the Morocco bound Super Eagles B.
According to a media release from the NFF, the 23-man Nigerian side will aboard a Turkish Airline flight from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and connect Rabat from Istanbul on Tuesday morning. Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor told thenff.com that the team will train for a few days in Rabat before heading to Tangier on Friday.
The Ikechukwu Ezenwa –captained squad will take on Rwanda, the hosts of the last edition of the competition two years ago. Nigeria’s opening match holds next week Monday at the Stade Ibn from 8.30pm Nigeria time.
The next game will be against Libya at the same venue on Friday, 19th January starting from 5.30pm Nigeria time.
Nigeria’s last group match will be against Equatorial Guinea in Agadir on Tuesday, 23rd January. The game will commence at 8pm Nigerian time.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the final competition of the first two editions of the CHAN, losing to Ghana in 2008 in the race to Cote d’Ivoire 2009 and beaten on aggregate by Niger Republic in 2010 in the qualifying series for Sudan 2011.
The Class of 2014 led by the late Stephen Keshi qualified after edging Cote d’Ivoire 4-3 on aggregate, and then finished third in South Africa.
In 2015, the team coached by Sunday Oliseh also defeated Burkina Faso to qualify for the finals, but lost out at group phase in the finals in Rwanda few months later.
To reach the finals this time, Salisu Yusuf’s wards edged Benin Republic 2-1 on aggregate.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Oladele Ajiboye (Plateau United); Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Osas Okoro (Rangers International); Daniel James (Plateau United); Kalu Orji Okogbue (Rangers International); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Abdullahi Musa (Wikki Tourists); Timothy Danladi (Katsina United); Ifeanyi Nweke (Kano Pillars); Stephen Eze (Kano Pillars)
Midfielders: Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Augustine Oladapo (Enyimba FC); Ekundayo Ojo (Sunshine Stars)
Forwards: Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United); Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars); Eneji Moses (Plateau United); Ibrahim Mustapha (Enyimba FC); Emeka Ogbuh (Rivers United); Sunday Faleye (Shooting Stars); Nur Muhammed (El-Kanemi Warriors); Okechukwu Gabriel (Akwa United)