Home –Based Super Eagles chief coach, Salisu Yusuf has called up 18 players for this month’s West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations tournament for senior national teams, slated for Ghana.
Top on the list are goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye, together with 16 other players including midfielder Rabiu Ali and forward Kingsley Eduwo, who both scored as the Super Eagles ran away 2-0 winners over Benin Republic in Kano to qualify for the 2018 African Nations Championship, CHAN in Kenya.
Also included in the list are defenders Eze Stephen, Chima Akas, Osas Okoro and Emmanuel Ariwachukwu, with midfielders Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Samuel Mathias and Afeez Aremu making the squad. Akwa United’s Gabriel Okechukwu and Ubong Friday, Katsina United Destiny Ashadi, Peter Eneji of Plateau United and in-form Lobi Stars Striker, Anthony Okpotu earned their first call ups.
Nigeria will play Sierra Leone in the first round (knock-out) of the tournament , before the eight knock-out stage winners will emerge for a group phase competition. The competition takes place 9th – 24th September.
Nigeria is in Group A alongside hosts, Ghana who will play The Gambia, while Mali are up against Mauritania and Guinea Bissau will clash with Guinea. All the teams in Group A will play in Takoradi, the twin city of Sekondi that also hosted matches during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
Group B Teams will compete in Cape Coast. 2015 African champions Cote d’Ivoire headline the pool that also has Senegal, Burkina Faso and Benin Republic, with Liberia, Niger Republic, Togo and Cape Verde also involved.
FULL LIST OF SUPER EAGLES
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)
Defenders: Stephen Eze (FC IfeanyiUbah); Emmanuel Ariwachukwu (Akwa United); Chima Akas (Enyimba FC); Osas Okoro (Rangers International); Adeleye Olamilekan (FC IfeanyiUbah); Daniel James (Plateau United)
Midfielders: Afeez Aremu (Akwa United); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Samuel Mathias (El-Kanemi Warriors); Destiny Ashadi (Katsina United)
Forwards: Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United); Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars); Peter Eneji (Plateau United); Ubong Friday (Akwa United); Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)