Saturday Mar 20, 2021. 10:00
Enyimba FC striker Anayo Iwuala has been called up as a replacement for Almeria forward Sadiq Umar in the latest Nigeria squad.
This comes after Umar was withdrawn from the 24-man squad by his Spanish club Almeria with the Super Eagles set to face Benini and Lesotho in their last two 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Nigeria will be away to Benin at Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo on March 27, before they play host to Lesotho three days later at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Umar, 24, would have been looking forward to making his maiden appearance for the senior national team under head coach Gernot Rohr having previously played for the Nigeria under-23 side.
However, Almeria have made it clear that Umar not be allowed to honour the invitation due to COVID-19 protocol.
”Due to the pandemic crisis that we are experiencing and thoroughly evaluating all the impacts, we believe that the sanitary, security or bureaucratic conditions are not met, so that our player Sadiq Umar presents himself to the call-up of the Nigerian national team,” read a statement from the club.
“Therefore, based on article 3.1b of Annex 1 of FIFA RSTP, we have notified the player not to appear at the aforementioned call.”
Iwuala has been in good form in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) this season having netted in back to back matches for Enyimba in January 2021 before helping the team reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage.