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The Super Eagles’ nest in Uyo has started bubbling with the arrival of 14 players. According to a media release by the NFF, nine more players will join the team on Tuesday morning, the same day that their opponents, Benin Republic’s Squirrels are expected in town for the Wednesday evening match.

Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has called up Enyimba FC defence stalwart, Ifeanyi Anaemena to the Super Eagles’ camp as the three –time African champions get set to open their 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign against Benin Republic’s Squirrels in Uyo on Wednesday.

 The defender will also be part of the squad for the Day Two clash with Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday, 17th November.

The People’s Elephant’s bulwark has been drafted in to replace Russia –based World Cup left back Bryan Idowu, who submitted his international passport for renewal and the document is not ready for him to travel to Nigeria for the encounter.

Anaemena was impressive for the Eagles B in their 2020 African Nations Championship qualifier against Togo at the Agege Stadium last month, and has also been a key player for Enyimba, two –time CAF Champions League winners, as they reached the group phase of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.


As at Monday evening, captain Ahmed Musa and 13 other players had arrived at the Eagles’ Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resorts, with the remaining nine squad members expected on Tuesday morning.

The 14 who trained on the grounds of the Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resort on Monday evening are Musa, goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, midfielders Alex Iwobi, Ramon Azeez and Wilfred Ndidi, and forwards Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen.

Those arriving on Tuesday morning are defenders William Ekong, Anaemena and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Mikel Agu and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, and forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu and Emmanuel Dennis.

Ayodele-Aribo, who plays for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, has scored in the Eagles’ last two games, against Ukraine (2-2) and Brazil (1-1) – incidentally the only two matches he has played for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will train at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday evening. 


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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