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Okoye Pulls Out Of Nigeria Squad For World Cup Play-Off Against Ghana Due To Illness

Nigeria preparations for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers have hit a snag with goalkeeper Maduka Okoye having withdrawn due to an illness.

Okoye, who is in books of Eredivisie outfit Sparta Rotterdam, was part of 25-man squad named by Super Eagles coach Augustine Eguavoen for the double- legged qualifiers against Black Stars.

A statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) indicates that Okoye is ill and will not be available against Ghana in Kumasi.

“Maduka Okoye out of the clash against Ghana due to illness, he has been replaced by Enyimba FC goalkeeper, John Noble. Get well soon Maduks,” read the statement.

NFF didn’t disclose the illness but various media reports in Lagos suggest that the Super Eagles first-choice goalkeeper tested positive of Covid-19.

Nigeria will face Ghana at the 40,000 capacity Baba Yara Stadium on Friday evening, in the first leg of a potentially explosive fixture.

The return leg will be played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, and its expected to be even more fiery and pulsating.

Cyprus-based goalkeeper Francis Uzoho is now in pole position to man the goalposts against the West Africans.

Both teams have faced each other on 58 occasions, with 18 of those matches have ended in draws. The first encounter was on 20th October, 1951, which Nigeria lost 5-0.

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