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W/C qualifiers: Okoye ruled out as Eagles depart for Kumasi


Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has been ruled out as the national team depart the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday for Kumasi, the venue of the first leg of their Qatar 2022 World Cup play-off against Ghana on Friday.

The Sparta Rotterdam in-form goalkeeper will miss the clash after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Recall that Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi had been excluded from the clash after suffering a knee injury last Thursday in the Europa Conference League.

A total of 23 players were already in camp as of Tuesday, with just Leicester City forward Ademola Lookman and Enyimba’s John Noble, who was called in to replace Okoye, expected to arrive today before their departure.

The players already in camp are captain Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Semi Ajayi, Ola Aina, Frank Onyeka, Odion Ighalo, Daniel Akpeyi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Others are Shehu Abdullahi, Francis Uzoho, Moses Simon, Emmanuel Dennis, Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey, Innocent Bonke, Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi, Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Akinkunmi Amoo and Sadiq Umar.

The team had their first training Tuesday, with 19 players at the newly refurbished Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

They will have another training session today, before setting out for Kumasi.

The Eagles are billed to have their first training and a feel of the Baba Yara Stadium on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Ghana arrived Kumasi on Tuesday and had their first training at the Baba Yara Stadium. The players had converged on Accra on Monday, before proceeding to the venue of the first leg.

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