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AFCON Qualifier: Why I dropped Gift Orban, Boniface, Akpom – Jose Peseiro

Jose Peseiro

Super Eagles manager, Jose Peseiro has revealed why he didn’t include the trio of Gifrt Orban, Victor Boniface, and Chuba Akpom in his squad list for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierran Leone.

The exclusion of the three players came as a surprise given their performances for their respective club sides in the just concluded football season in Europe. Gift Orban who plays for Gent in the Belgian top division scored 23 goals in 24 games, and Victor Boniface scored 17 goals in 51 appearances. Chuba Akpom was also exceptional as he helped Middlesborough in the English Championship with 29 goals in 41 appearances.

On why he excluded them from the list, Jose Peseiro cited that the football federation only permits the invitation of 19 foreign-based players and he couldn’t go beyond that having invited most of the players he had been working with since he took the job. While his explanation answers the question for Gift Orban and Victor Boniface, Chuba Akpom’s expired Nigerian passport ruled him out of the squad.

Jose Peseiro added that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are not financially buoyant at the moment so only a limited number of foreign pros can be invited for now.

Jose Peseiro

“I visit them. I was in England, I was in Spain, I was in Italy. I visited them from my pocket. For that I will like to call then buy mm if I can call them, I will have to drop some of the players like you to know I can only invite 19 foreign-based players. I believe in the local players but our federation (NFF) is not in a good financial situation for that, so because of that, I can only call 19 players from outside Nigeria. If I have the space to call more players and our NfF says I can only call¬†19¬†players.”

On Ahmed Musa’s inclusion, Jose Peseiro explained that picking any of those two players ahead of Musa would mean taking five strikers to Monrovia whereas the Super Eagles captain is a winger and not a striker.

The Super Eagles need just a draw to secure their spot at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to hold in Cote d’Ivoire.


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