The former Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper was Nigeria’s number-one gloves at the 2021 AFCON
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has handed a late call-up to Udinese goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Nigeria national team is preparing to play two friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique over the next six days.
Coach Peseiro invited 25 players for the games, including three goalkeepers – Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, and Adeleye Adebayo.
Cyprus-based Uzoho is, however, the only goalkeeper who has reported to the Super Eagles camp after it opened on Tuesday, October 10.
Enyimba goalkeeper Ojo may, however, not be available for the game as he is reportedly in Lagos, waiting for his Portuguese visa.
Hapoel Jerusalem goalkeeper Adeleye could also miss the games due to the crisis in Israel.
Israel came under attack from Hamas militias on Saturday, with dozens of people confirmed dead while several others are either missing or captured.
Football in the country has been suspended, and flights in and out of the country monitored under strict regulations.
Adeleye and Ojo are not among the 20 players already in the Super Eagles camp in Portugal. And the Nigeria Football Federation has invited Okoye to fill in for them.
Interestingly, Okoye was the Super Eagles’ number-one goalkeeper at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but he fell out of favour after Nigeria crashed out of the tournament at the knockout stages.
Since Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat to Tunisia at the AFCON in Cameroon, Okoye has only been invited to one national team engagement – the 4-0 friendly defeat to Portugal in November 2022.
Nearly a year later, the 24-year-old gets another chance to impress coach Peseiro as the Super Eagles prepare for the 2023 AFCON in January.