28 August 2017

Nigeria/Cameroon: Iwobi Out of Clash With Cameroon As Eagles Camp Opens Today

Photo: allafrica.com
Indomitable Lions' Benjamin Moukandjo and Super Eagles' Michael Obi (file photo).

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has withdrawn from Super Eagles squad ahead of the World Cup 2018 qualifier against African champions Cameroon in Uyo this Friday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), confirmed at the weekend that the 21-year-old will also miss the September 4 showdown against the Indomitable Lions in Yaounde due to thigh muscle strain.

He was due to join the Super Eagles training camp expected to open today after Arsenal's disastrous 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the English Premier League yesterday.

Iwobi, the nephew of legendary Nigeria star Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, had played in Nigeria's first two World Cup qualifiers against Zambia and Algeria, scoring in a 2-1 win in Zambia in October last year.

However in a swift move, Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has handed late invitations to CSKA Moscow of Russia forward, Aaron Samuel as replacement for Iwobi. Samuel made the last of seven international appearances two years ago.

Rohr has also reinforced the defence with an invite to Standard Liege of Belgium player, Uche Agbo for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.

Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, confirmed yesterday that the duo will join the squad in Uyo this week, but that the team will begin training in Abuja this evening.

Already in camp at the weekend were the duo of Tianjin Teda stars Odion Jude Ighalo and John Mikel Obi. Chippa United of South Africa goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi was also listed among players already in town for the big game.

Mikel who is staging a comeback to the team after missing the 0-2 loss to South Africa in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers, landed in Nigeria on Sunday evening.

Mikel had declared in the past month that he is determined to ensure Nigeria qualify for the World Cup 2018 in Russia as his in-laws will not forgive him, if Nigeria fail to make it.

"We have received the news about Iwobi, he is injured and he won't be available for the games against Cameroon. Coach Gernot has recalled stand-by players Aaron and Agbo. Both players have been directed to join the team in Uyo this week," Ibitoye observed on Sunday night.

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