AFCON 2019: Why Nigerians are divided over 25-man provisional list

Super Eagles Players

As preparations for upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) has intensified, some soccer fans and journalists have expressed divergent opinions on Super Eagles’ 25-man provisional list just released by Coach Gernot Rohr.

Super Eagles Players
Super Eagles Players

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that preparation of the senior national team toward AFCON was hot-up when Rohr released the 25-man provisional list on Tuesday for camping in Asaba.

The composition of players that made the list came as no surprise as it includes the team’s regulars, save some players which many think should not make the list.

Some are, however, quick to query the inclusion of Eagles captain Mikel Obi who had yet to play for the team after their exit at the group stage of the  2018 World Cup.

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Others also wondered why the inclusion of “out-of-form” Leicester City Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, in the team.

The Super Eagles will begin their quest for the fourth glory when the biennial football hostilities takes centre stage in Egypt starting from June 21 to July 19.

The former Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Lagos State, Fred Edoreh, in his opinion, justified the inclusion of both players, saying that the coach should know better.

“I do not think it is out of order to recall Obi to the team, any team with a blend of youthfulness and experience will surely do well at any competition.

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“Inviting Mikel is good because I think his experience is also needed in the team, going by his contributions during the World Cup.

“For Kelechi Iheanacho, his invitation is a 50-50 chance because people see him as a good player who contributes to the team. For the coach, he may probably believe that he will pick up again.

“Sometimes the decision to field a player rest on the perception of the coach and more than that, it is good to give people chance. I also believe the coach wants to be successful as well,’’ he said.

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