Mass Withdrawal Threatens Nigeria v Cameroon Friendly in Austria

The international friendly planned for June 4 between the Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Austria has suffered a spate of withdrawals as several players Nigeria shortlisted for the game have pulled out.

Nigeria’s Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr, admitted to ESPN yesterday that he was now at a loss on how to prosecute the game because of the withdrawal of his mainly Europe-based players.

Players that have called the gaffer with proofs of injuries include; Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Crotone’s Simy Nwankwo, Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi, West Brom’s Semi Ajayi, Fulham’s Ola Aina, Benfica’s Tyronne Ebuehi and Hoffenheim’s Kevin Akpoguma.

Similarly, both Kenneth Omeruo and Sadiq Umar will be involved with their clubs in the promotion playoffs in Spain. On the other hand, Moses Simon’s FC Nantes will also face a battle to remain in the French Ligue 1 via the playoffs.

“I don’t know if they can cancel, I only know that I have a maximum of 18 players. If the players from England, William (Troost-Ekong), Kelechi, Ndidi and Iwobi can come, then maybe we play but I have no substitutes and there is no chance to get other players,” Rohr told ESPNwith a tinge of sadness.

Continued the Super Eagles gaffer, “But eve if they come, they cannot play because they have to go into quarantine, then we cannot make it.

“I think they made this friendly in Austria to give us a good condition for preparation, but I see that it is difficult to motivate the players to come to Europe because some of the players are in Nigeria already. And they have to come back to Europe to play.

“My problem now is that I hope that we will have 18 players to arrive.”

The German coach is yet to lose against Cameroon with the Super Eagles after three matches, but he is lamenting the depleted defence he has to manage even if the game goes as planned.

“We had nine defenders in the list. Six now are out,” he stressed.

“They said they had some injuries and the doctors from the clubs said they need to rest because they have some pains. So we got some medical attestations from the teams.

“Ola Aina told me yesterday that his ankle is painful and he cannot make it and the club physio said he cannot play. Then we have (Kevin) Akpoguma, we knew already he is injured and cannot play.

“Victor Osimhen is injured. He sent us an attestation. The meniscus in his knee is painful.

“(Zaidu) Sanusi is injured. He was in Paris to see a doctor, for surgery perhaps but not for the moment. (Tyronne) Ebuehi sent us a message with a medical attestation that he cannot make it. And Semi Ajayi also says he has problems with his back and the Physio says he needs two weeks of rest.

“Simy Nwankwo also, they sent us attestation from his club that he cannot make it because he is injured.”

Rohr tried late calls for RB Salzburg’s Samson Tijani and Midjtylland midfielder Frank Onyeka, but both players are also not available.

“I invited the player Tijani from Salzburg who has told me that he was injured in training yesterday… hamstring. And Frank Onyeka from Midjtylland, I called him but he cannot come either,” he said.

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