Monday Mar 07, 2022. 14:00
Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen has explained his decision to include Ogenyi Onazi on the standby list for the crunch World Cup qualifying double-header against Ghana.
Eguavoen named a provisional 32-man squad on Friday for the two-legged play-off, with Onazi one of seven players placed on standby.
The Al-Adalah midfielder’s inclusion has led to criticism given that he hasn’t been called up to the national team since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But Eguavoen revealed to the press that Onazi was recalled to placate others, although he is unsure whether the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner can still cut in at the highest level.
“Onazi, good player. Whether he’s still good and can play at that level, we don’t know,” the 56-year-old said.
“But that’s why I said to pacify everybody, to ensure there’s harmony here, put him on the standby. While he’s on the standby, I have the final say.”