Nigeria U23 skipper Azubuike Okechukwu and Taiwo Awoniyi will both miss the U23 AFCON opening game against Cote d’Ivoire on November 9 after their clubs insisted they will only be released during the FIFA window as the tournament is not in on the international calendar.
Okechukwu from Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir and Mainz 05 striker Awoniyi will therefore be available for the subsequent Group B matches against South Africa and Zambia.
But it is not clear what will become of them and their availability should Nigeria go past the group stage of the competition, which also serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
SCORENigeria has already reported that Dutch club Heerenveen SC rejected the request for the release of Chidera Ejuke because the U23 AFCON is not on the international calendar.
In the meantime, Austria-based forward Sunday Faleye is expected to arrive Egypt later Friday from his base.
He is one of several Europe-based stars who will hit Cairo directly after the main squad departed Abuja Thursday afternoon.