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Rohr drops Iheanacho, picks Ozornwafor, 22 others for Seychelles, Egypt matches


Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Kelechi Iheanacho has paid the price for his poor form at Leicester City with his omission in the Super Eagles’ squad for the forthcoming African Nations Cup qualifier against Seychelles and the international friendly against Egypt this month. Iheanacho has been a regular in the senior national team since he made his debut for the side in 2016. But his game has been going down since he joined Leicester City from Manchester City.

This season he has been a fringe player in the team, which has been struggling in the English Premiership.Also absent from the squad announced by Rohr yesterday are Skipper Mikel Obi and youngster, Samuel Chukwueze.

Mikel is still observing a sabbatical leave from the national team, while Chukwueze was omitted for tactical reasons.In the squad are the usual suspects, including stand-in skipper, Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Kenneth Omeruo,Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong, as well as midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon.
There is a first time call up for Enyimba’s Valentine Ozornwafor, an U-20 international, as well as well as former U17 World Cup winner, Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based Paul Onuachu.

Enyimba’s Theophilus Afelokhai is not among the goalkeepers, who include Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi. The defenders in the squad are Ola Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); and Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany).
The midfielders are Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); and John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel).

To vie for positions in the attack are Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); and Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark).

Nigeria will meet Seychelles in their last AFCON qualifier at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on March 22, and then tackle the Pharaohs of Egypt at the same venue in a prestige international friendly four days later.  A statement by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday directed all the invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, to report in the Delta State capital on March 18.


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