Abuja, Oct. 5, 2020 Defender Kenneth Omeruo and forward Moses Simon were among the early arrivals at the Super Eagles’ Hotel die Zeit an der Glan camp in Carinthia, Austria on Monday morning.
The senior national male football team are in Austria for international friendly matches against African champions Algeria on Friday and Africa’s number two-ranked team Tunisia on Oct. 13.
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said in a statement Monday that four other players were in the early arrivals’ group.
These are forwards Samuel Kalu and Chidera Ejuke, defender Leon Balogun and goalkeeper Mathew Yakubu.
Hours later, England-based defenders William Troost-Ekong, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Olaoluwa Aina, as well as forward Kelechi Iheanacho, landed in Austria.
Right behind them were goalkeeper Dele Alampasu, defender Jamilu Collins, midfielder Frank Onyeka and forwards Cyril Dessers and Alex Iwobi.
The other invited players were being expected in camp by Monday night.
Olajire also disclosed that former Germany under-20 captain Kevin Akpoguma has arrived at the team’s hotel in Austria “to familiarise himself with the Nigeria set-up and bond with the other players’’.
Akpoguma’s arrival is ahead of the imminent approval of his international switch to the Super Eagles.
Three-times African champions Nigeria file out against Algeria at the Jacques Lemans Arena on Friday before taking on 2004 African champions Tunisia at the same venue on Oct. 13.
Already, team head coach Gernot Rohr is sure to have to do without three of his initial call-ups.
Turkey-based midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo suffered a knock on Sunday, while Wilfred Ndidi was earlier ruled out by injury.
Permission has also been granted Italy-based forward Victor Osimhen to sit out the matches.
It is the first gathering of the Super Eagles this year, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down football globally since the month of March.
This was just before two 2021 AFCON qualifiers with Sierra Leone, and the matches will now hold in November.
Match organisers Eurodata Sport has clarified that no fan will be allowed inside the stadium for any of the two matches, in conformity with extant protocols on the coronavirus pandemic.
Both matches will kick off at 8:30 p.m. Austria time (9:30 p.m Nigeria time).
THE FULL LIST OF EXPECTED PLAYERS
Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy)
Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France)