W/Cup qualifier: Eagles’ camp bubbles with 23 players

...after Okoye's arrival in Uyo

Maduka Okoye late Wednesday night landed the Super Eagles camp in Uyo ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier versus South Africa following the arrival of Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi.

The atmosphere around the camp of African vice champions Nigeria had livened up even more as five players who were initially stranded in two different parts of the country as a result of the nationwide strike were ferried into Uyo on Tuesday morning.

Defenders, Semi Ajayi, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Calvin Bassey, alongside midfielder, Frank Onyeka and forward, Paul Onuachu landed at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo aboard a private jet arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation, and were driven to the team’s Ibom Hotel and Resorts to meet up with team mates in time for lunch.

The arrival of the quintet brought the tally of players in camp to 20 and on Wednesday, the duo of Lookman and Iwobi landed in Uyo to increase the number of Eagles stars to 22.

According to the Super Eagles’ new media officer, Promise Efoge, “Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi have arrived at the camp.” Meanwhile, Udinese goalkeeper, Okoye has also joined the team.

The Italy-based shot-stopper arrived in Uyo after catching a flight from Abuja, as confirmed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s media department. “Update: Maduka Okoye has arrived at the Eagles nest. All 23 players in camp.”

Lookman scored one and assisted another goal as Atalanta ended the 2023/24 Serie A season with a 3-2 home defeat against Fiorentina on Sunday which caused his delay at the Uyo camp.

Okoye returns to the Super Eagles set-up after making the list of invited players for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifiers with the keeper shining for Udinese in the Serie A last season.

“The Super Eagles trained inside the main bowl on Wednesday. They will train again at 6.30pm on Thursday,” Efoge revealed on the Super Eagles WhatsApp platform.
“Gentle men and ladies of the press will be allowed to take pictures and shots for fifteen minutes only at the start of the exercise but please, note that there would be no interviews. The South Africans will train at the same location at 8pm.”

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