Heartland’s goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is the only home-based player in the 24-man list invited to camp for Nigeria’s back-to-back clash against the Leone Stars, forcing Ike Shorunmu to question the head coach’s decision.
Former Super Eagles number one Shorunmu has expressed his displeasure at coach Gernot Rohr’s decision to snub NPFL players in favour of the foreign-based professionals.
The German tactician made his list public on Wednesday as the three-time African champions begin preparations to face West African neighbours, Sierra Leone, in the double-header qualifying games slated for later this month.
Heracles Almelo striker and the Eredivisie’s top marksman, Cyriel Dessers, earned a first-time invitation to represent his mother’s country of birth. FC Cologne’s defender Kingsley Ehizibue is also set for his Super Eagles debut.
There were recalls for Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Getafe’s Oghenekaro Etebo, and Wigan’s Leon Balogun after a spell out of the group. Regulars such as Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, and captain Ahmed Musa also feature prominently on the list.
But there was no room for any stars of Plateau United, Kano Pillars, or Enyimba despite the teams providing fireworks at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League to the dismay of Shorunmu.
“I don’t know, maybe the coach does not have confidence in our home base professional players anymore,” he told Brila.net.
“Because he called up 24 players, and I don’t know why anyone of our home base based professional is not in the squad, except for Ezenwa, so I don’t know,” lamented the Super Eagles first-choice goalkeeper to the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup.