Nigeria: Afcon Qualifiers - Simon, Kalu's Absence Won't Affect Eagles' Performance - Pascal

soccer, pair of boots
23 March 2021

Super Eagles team coordinator, Patrick Pascal, has insisted that the absence of the trio Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu, and Umar Sadiq for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation's (AFCON) qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho will not affect the team's performance.

The trio were prevented by their clubs in France and Spain from attending the crucial AFCON qualifying matches due to COVID-19 restrictions in the countries.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports from the Super Eagles camp in Lagos, Pascal said more players were being expected to arrive in camp late yesterday, adding that the coaches and players are working hard to make the nation proud.

"We have about seven players in camp already and we are expecting more players to arrive before the end of today (Monday). We did fitness and training today and the players and coaches are doing their best to ensure that we win our last two games," he said.

"The beauty of any team is that, when some players are absent, other players can take up the role and deliver. That's why the coach called up 24 players, no doubt that we're going to miss Simon, Kalu and Umar but that will not affect the performance of the team when they play against Benin and Lesotho."

Pascal, who is also the chairman of Bauchi State Football Association, fancy the invited Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) players chances of being selected ahead of their foreign-based counterparts for the matches if the coaches are satisfied with their performance in training.

"For the NPFL players getting national team call-ups is a plus to them, it would boost their confidence going forward. They also stand a chance to play if they can prove themselves to the coaches," Pascal stated.

Nigeria's Super Eagles will battle Squirrels of Benin on Saturday, March 27 before taking on the Crocodile of Lesotho in Lagos three days later.

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