Coach Imama Amapakabo has admitted he remains uncertain captain Okechukwu Azubuike will lead the country to next month’s U23 AFCON in Egypt as he has yet to receive any confirmation the player’s Turkish club will release him.
“I have not receive a confirmation his club will release him, probably I will get that in a few days,” Imama said.
“But if he is not released, we will have options to work with.”
Interestingly, the Istanbul Basaksehir midfielder led Nigeria to win the 2015 U23 AFCON in Senegal.
Officials told SCORENigeria they will likely be without several of the Europe-based stars who helped them qualify for the U23 AFCON.
These will include Victor Osimhen (Lille/France), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal/Spain), Chidozie Awaziem (Leganes/Spain), David Okereke (Club Brugge/Belgium) and Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz 05/Germany).
Nigeria are training in Abuja and will open their campaign for the 2019 U23 AFCON, which produces three qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, against Cote d’Ivoire on November 8.
Zambia and South Africa are the other teams in their first round group.