2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria dealt blow as Okoye ruled out of Ghana game

Nigeria have suffered a major blow ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualification play-off against Ghana as Maduka Okoye has been ruled out.

According to a statement made available to GOAL by the Nigeria Football Federation, the Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper is ill and will not be available against the Black Stars in Kumasi.

Meanwhile, coach Augustine Eguavoen has invited Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble as a replacement, with Cyprus based Francis Uzoho now in pole position to man the goalposts against the West Africans.

Noble was one of the four goalkeepers that made the three-time African champions’ list to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Okoye’s absence will come as a massive setback to the country’s preparations due to his impressive performances for his dutch Eredivisie outfit.

For ex-Nigeria international Mutiu Adepoju, the news has not shaken his faith in Nigeria’s ability to qualify for the World Cup and is upbeat about the ability of Eguavoen’s men.

“There is no cause for alarm man. Super Eagles will still get the job done because we have the quality. #SoarEagles,” tweeted the former Real Madrid player in response to a tweet confirming the development.

In a related development, 18 of the 25 invited players have arrived at The Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartments.

Expected later in the evening are Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Zaidu Sanusi, Akinkunmi Amoo, Samuel Chukwueze, and Almeria’s Sadiq Umar.

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Leicester City’s Ademola Lookman is billed to join the rest of the team on Wednesday morning.

Friday’s first leg will be the 58th clash between the two countries at senior level.

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