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Sports News of Sunday, 2 January 2022


AFCON 2021: Nigeria lose four key players for continental showpiece

Super Eagles of Nigeria striker, Victor Osimhen Super Eagles of Nigeria striker, Victor Osimhen

The Super Green Eagles of Nigeria have been dealt with a massive blow as they lose four key players for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The much-anticipated tournament has been scheduled between January 9 and February 6, 2022.

Nigeria is among the 24 country’s set to battle for the covetous trophy in the Central African country.

Ahead of the continental showpiece, Nigeria has been handed a massive blow as they lose Victor Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis, Leon Balogun, and Shehu Abdullahi for the tournament due to various reasons.

Victor Osimhen who plies his trade for Napoli has been ruled out after contracting Covid-19 and also failing to recover from a facial fracture that required surgery.

Emmanuel Dennis on the other hand will not be available due to a late invitation as Watford block him from joining the Super Eagles.

Osimhen and Dennis have been replaced by Henry Onyekuru of Olympiakos and Slavia Prague's Peter Olayinka respectively.

Venezia's Tyrone Ebuehi and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi -- who plays for second-tier English side West Brom -- come in for Abdullahi and Balogun.

Revised squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia/CYP), John Noble (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs/RSA), Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam/NED).

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC/TUR), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes/SPA), Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), William Ekong (Watford/ENG), Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC/ITA), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07/GER), Tyrone Ebuehi (Venezia FC/ITA), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto/POR), Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates/RSA).

Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford/ENG), Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Rangers/SCO), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca/SPA).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk/TUR), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC/SPA), Henry Onyekuru (Olympiakos FC/GRE), Moses Simon (FC Nantes/FRA), Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria/SPA), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin/GER), Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh/KSA), Alex Iwobi (Everton/ENG), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/ENG), Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague/CZE).