The French Embassy has yielded to the appeal of the Nigeria Football Federations and has issued visas to the home based players and officials who were billed to travel to France ahead of the team’s international friendly matches.
Assistant Coaches Imama Amapakabo and Kennedy Boboye, and physiotherapist Chris Anozie were among those issued visas, and they departed the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Tuesday night. Team administrator Dayo Enebi Achor, doctor Ibrahim Gyaran and equipment officer Chidi Ngoka left Nigeria on Monday night.
Achor said from the team’s camp in France on Tuesday evening that all players, coaches and backroom staff were being expected at the team camp on Wednesday, ahead of Friday’s clash with Mali in Rouen.
Midfield ace Ogenyi Onazi was at the head of eight other players who traveled out with the assistant coaches and other backroom staff from Abuja on Tuesday. Others are goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders Elderson Echiejile, Musa Muhammed, Abdullahi Shehu and Kingsley Madu, midfielder Etebo Oghenekaro and forwards Aminu Umar and Brown Ideye.
Of the original 26 players that were listed by interim Head Coach Salisu Yusuf for the games against Mali and Luxembourg, the NFF has released captain John Mikel Obi and his assistant, Ahmed Musa for former captain Joseph Yobo’s testimonial game in Port Harcourt on Friday, while defender Chidozie Awaziem is a big doubt and forwards Aaron Samuel and Victor Moses are out, the former as a result of injury. Defender William Troost Ekong will be on duty for his Norwegian club on Thursday and is only in consideration for the match against Luxembourg in Luxembourg City on Tuesday next week.
Goalkeepers Carl Ikeme (England –based) and Daniel Akpeyi (flying in from South Africa), defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Gbenga Arokoyo and Leon Balogun, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Raheem Lawal, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi are also expected in camp by Wednesday morning.
The Super Eagles take on Mali at the Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen on Friday, before traveling to Luxembourg City on Saturday, ahead of the game with Luxembourg at the Josy Barthel Stadium on Tuesday evening.