CAF okays Nigeria’s 41-man provisional list ahead 2023 AFCON

THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed Nigeria’s senior men’s football team – the Super Eagles – provisional squad for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed to kick off on January 13, 2024, in Ivory Coast.

The country’s 41-man provisional list stirred up controversies since it gained public attention on social media on Monday, December 18.

Many football enthusiasts had described the list as fabricated, casting doubt over the authenticity of the list due to the silence of the Nigeria Football Federation.

The ICIR checks on the NFF’s website showed there was no report or comment concerning the list from the football body.

But further check on the CAF website revealed that the 24 participating countries ahead of the tournament have submitted their lists ahead of the tournament, including Nigeria.

According to the list on the CAF website, three Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) players were listed, and they are all goalkeepers.

They include Bendel Insurance’s Amas Obasogie, Sporting Lagos’ Christain Nwoke, and Enyimba’s Ojo Olorunleke.

Long-time absentees from the Super Eagles – Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Zaidu Sanusi, and Paul Onuachu made the list.

Ola Aina, Samuel Osayi-Bright, Bruno Onyemaechi, Semi Ajayi, Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey and Chidozie Awaziem were also named.

Some midfielders invited are Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Aribo, Alhassan Yusuf and Kelechi Iheanacho.

The squad’s strikers include Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Sadiq Umar, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman and Tella Nathan.

According to CAF, the list will be reduced to 27 players on January 3, 2024.

Before now, CAF used to accept 23 players in the final list before it increased the number to 27 for the 2023 AFCON.

The registration of the four more players on the final list is merely an option, not a requirement.




     

     

    However, during the competition, only 23 players will be eligible to be selected for each match.

    In a chat with the The ICIR, a football stakeholder, Dumodi Okonta, explained the reason behind NFF’s silence over the provisional list

    “It is CAF that publishes the list first before NFF. Anything that was in the public before CAF was a breach of trust. The person was not meant to publish it.

    “It is just like players transfer. It is the club that signed the deal that announces the player first before the club that releases the player,” he said.

     

     

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