The head coach of the Super Eagles recently released his 40-man provisional squad list ahead of the 2023 AFCON tournament
Super Eagles legend, Sunday Oliseh, responded to Odion Ighalo’s call for home-based players in the Super Eagles squad, Soccernet.ng reports.
The provisional list for the upcoming 2023 AFCON released by the Super Eagles featured only three home-based players—Ojo Oluwasegun (Enyimba FC), Christian Nwoke (Sporting Lagos FC), and Obasogie Amas (Bendel Insurance).
This selection heavily favoured foreign-based players, drawing criticism from Ighalo, who highlighted the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) oversight towards the local football league.
Expressing his stance, the Al Wehda forward criticized the NFF’s decision, stressing the importance of including home-based players to uplift the Nigeria Premier Football League.
“I don’t think it’s right not to invite home-based players because it is a provisional, 40-man list. We should have five to seven home-based players to encourage them. We know they might not make the final list for the tournament, but at least five or seven should be on the list to encourage the players and the league so they can work harder and believe they can make the team in the future,” Ighalo conveyed via Oma Sports, earlier reported by Soccernet.ng.
This debate has sparked varied reactions within the Nigerian football community, igniting discussions among football enthusiasts regarding the squad’s list.
In contrast, former Ajax star Oliseh acknowledged the shift in times, comparing the current squad to the 90s and 2000s teams that boasted international superstars and dominated global football.
He criticized the absence of home-based players, expressing concern that neglecting local talent could diminish the growth of grassroots football.
“If we had superstars like in the 90’s and early 2000’s playing at the very top world clubsides, champions league etc., one could understand the absence of home-based in a 40-man call-up. Haba, they just want to disregard everything that is home-based in favour of football business! Time we acted!” he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) page.
If we had superstars like in the 90's and early 2000's playing at D very top world clubsides,champions league etc one could understand d absence of homebased in a 40 man call-up. Haba,dem just want kill everything wey be homebased in favour of football business! Time we acted!! https://t.co/wT8cmSFzug
— Sunday Oliseh (@SundayOOliseh) December 21, 2023
The Super Eagles squad, including three home-based players, will camp in Saudi Arabia ahead of the 2023 AFCON tournament scheduled for January.