Iwobi Would be Back against Newcastle, Says Father


President of the Republic of Seychelles, Danny Faure and the Vice President, Vincent Meriton will attend today’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the Pirates of Seychelles and the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Victoria.

The General Secretary of Seychelles Football Federation, Mr. Georges Bibi confirmed this at the match coordinati­on meeting which took place at the SFF Secretaria­t in Victoria on Friday evening.

Seychelles number one and number two men will be joined at the pre-match formalitie­s by the President of Seychelles Football Federation, Elvis Chetty and the 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi.

At the meeting, attended by the match officials from Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, it was decided that Seychelles would dorn their traditiona­l red –top-and-shorts with white stripes, while the Super Eagles will turn out in the green top over white shorts.

The match referee is Omweno Devis from Kenya, to be assisted by compatriot Cheruiyot Gilbert (assistant referee 1) and Ugandans Isorlko Mark (assistant referee 2) and Muhabi Alli (reserve referee). Mustapha Chitbahal from Mauritius is the match commission­er while Leslie Leonard Liunda from Tanzania is the referee assessor.

The match will kick off at 4.30p.m. Seychelles time (1.30p.m. Nigeria time), and Bibi has confirmed that about 6,000 spectators will attend the game at the 10,000 –capacity Stade Linite.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles had their last training session at the Stade Linite on Friday evening, with all 21 players fit for selection to garner the three points on offer for Nigeria.

Available for selection to safeguard the goalpost are Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, with Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Semi Ajayi and Jamilu Collins to battle for rearguard positions.

Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, Kelechi Nwakali and Joel Obi are available in the middle, while Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simeon Nwankwo, Henry Onyekuru, Odion Ighalo and Samuel Kalu will contest for slots in the frontline.

Alex Iwobi’s father has revealed his son should be back from illness before Arsenal’s match against Newcastle United, despite missing the internatio­nal break with Nigeria.

Iwobi made a strong start to the season with the Gunners, and was probably the side’s man-of-the-match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It was therefore surprising to see him out of the squad completely for the trip to Cardiff City last weekend.

Unai Emery confirmed afterward that the winger missed the game through illness. Iwobi’s father gave an update on the situation toallniger­iasoccer, confirming the 22-year-old will also miss Nigeria’s match against Seychelles.

“Thanks for the concern. Indeed it was sad for Alex that he wasn’t in the squad for the Arsenal match versus Cardiff and had to withdraw from National Team for the match versus Seychelles,” Chuka said. “He is on the road to recovery and should be back before the game against Newcastle (on September 15).

“He loves playing for Nigeria and was extremely disappoint­ed (not to be available for the game against Seychelles).

“Fortunatel­y, Arsenal managed to get the win against Cardiff without Iwobi, and hopefully Nigeria will be able to do the same. It’s a shame he couldn’t take part in the matches, but at least the illness didn’t come at an even more crucial point in the season.”

For Iwobi, this is a big year. He’s just signed a new long-term deal and has a clean slate under Emery. If the Nigeria internatio­nal can make the most of his opportunit­ies on the pitch, he could find himself in the Spanish head coach’s plans for the foreseeabl­e future.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria