Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr on Wednesday named 23 players for camping in Abuja ahead of the Super Eagles’ 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in Uyo on June 10.
First-teamers Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo, who were omitted from the squad, who battled to a 1-1 draw against minnows Corsica in Ajaccio on Friday and scheduled to face Togo in Paris on Thursday ahead of the Uyo fixture, made the list alongside South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Premier League winner Victor Moses and the domestic league’s top scorer with 14 goals Stephen Odey were surprisingly omitted from the squad. Rohr also snubbed German-born attacker Noah Sarenren-Bazee (Hannover 96) and British-born defender Ola Aina (Chelsea), as well as Watford striker Isaac Success, Odey’s MFM teammate Sikiru Olatubosun, who were all invited for the friendly games against Corsica and Togo.
German-born Mainz 05 defender Leon Balogun was also omitted from the squad.
Rohr failed to keep his promise to invite team captain Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye, who are plying their trade in the cash-rich Chinese Super League.
But Akwa United scoring midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim got the nod from the German coach to report to training camp alongside reported Arsenal-bound Henry Onyekuru, who has scored 24 goals this season and provided 14 assists for his Belgian club Eupen, Wolfsburg striker Victor Osimhen, versatile Zamalek midfielder Maroof Youssef, Dutch-born Tyronne Ebuehi and Austria Bundesliga Player of the Year Olanrewaju Kayode.
Olanrewaju, 24, who joined Austria Wien from Israeli outfit Maccabi Netanya in 2015, ended as the league’s top scorer with 17 goals.
Kelechi Iheanacho, FA Cup winner Alex Iwobi, Elderson Echiejile, Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, William Ekong and Abdullahi Shehu also made the list.
The Nigeria Football Federation, who released the list on Wednesday, said the players are expected in Abuja on Friday ahead of their trip to Uyo on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Eagles Toyin Ibitoye said Rohr decided to drop Moses because he believed the players he had chosen would do a good job.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (Cesarense)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor); William Ekong (Gent); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag); Elderson Echiejile (Monaco); Chidozie Awaziem (Porto); Maroof Youssef (Zamalek)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor ); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester); Oghenekaro Etebo (Feirense); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal); Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester); Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City); Moses Simon ( Gent); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal); Henry Onyekuru (Eupen); Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg); Olanrewaju Kayode (Austria Wien).