Kelechi Nwakali after dazzling Atletico Madrid in Uyo

Kelechi Nwakali and Usman Mohammed, who shone for the Super Eagles B against Atletico Madrid, cannot feature at next month’s World Cup as they are not on the 30-man provisional squad announced recently, according to FIFA rule governing the competition.

Nwakali and Usman Mohammed have sparked off a clamour for them to be part of the World Cup squad after they showed class against the UEFA Europa League winners in Uyo on Tuesday night.

Arsenal loanee Nwakali capped a Man of the Match display with a super goal, while Usman Mohammed’s brilliant solo goal is still being talked about.

However, SCORENigeria has now studied the FIFA rules and regulations governing the 2018 World Cup and they were clear any replacements will have to come from the release list (provisional squad) – “the final list is limited to the players on the release list”.

Both players did not make the provisional squad.

Here is the relevant rule, which knocks out Nwakali and Usman Mohammed –


Final list of players 


  1. Each association shall then be required to provide FIFA with a final list of 23 players (three of whom shall be goalkeepers) and 27 officials (hereinafter: the final list). This final list is limited to the players on the release list. The final list should show the full last name(s), all first names, popular name, name and number on the shirt, position, place and date of birth, passport number and expiry date, name and country of the club, height, weight, number of caps attained number of international goals scored and shall be submitted to the FIFA general secretariat by the deadline stipulated in the relevant circular, using the official form for this purpose.


Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye further explained even replacements will have to be caused by a proven case of injury, which FIFA will have to certify.


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