ABUJA – Flying Eagles’ Coach Manu Garba on Friday said Kelechi Iheanacho, Chidebere Nwakali and other foreign-based players would miss both legs of the African Youth Championship (AYC) qualifiers against Lesotho.
The National U-20 team will host Lesotho on Aug. 16 in Kaduna with the second tie in Maseru in two weeks.
The overall winners of this match will automatically qualify for the 2015 AYC in Senegal in March.
Garba told NAN in Abuja that Manchester City was reluctant on releasing Iheanacho and Nwakali for both legs of the qualifiers against Lesotho.
“I think, so far so good, we are on the right course in the sense that there are no injury worries except for Alhassan Ibrahim who has already started light training.
“However, we just received news from Manchester City that Iheanacho and Nwakali will not be available for both legs of our final AYC qualifiers against Lesotho.
“Initially, when we sent a letter to them requesting for their release, the reply we got was that they would be released a week before the match.
“So, we got back to them three days ago and our secretary was categorically told that the coach had plans for the boys so they were not going to be released,’’ he said.
The coach further revealed that other foreign-based players like Success Isaac, Chidera Eze and Musa Yahaya, will also not be available for the final AYC qualifiers.
“For Isaac, he also had the same issue with his club; Granada FC which said that they were not going to release him because he had already started playing first team football for the club. [eap_ad_2] “Also, Eze who just returned from injury is now training with the FC Porto team and will not be available.
“He has reached an agreement with us not to feature in both legs of the final qualifier against Lesotho so as to focus on his club career,’’ he said.
In the case of Musa Yahaya, the head coach said English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur were also reluctant to release the Flying Eagles’ forward for the first leg in Kaduna.
“Yahaya has been lined up for several test games with the Spurs Academy team around the Aug. 16 clash against Lesotho and so will not be available for the crucial qualifier.
“We are, however, optimistic that the player will be available for the return leg match in Lesotho,’’ Coach Manu Garba said.
Garba on Thursday named a 25-man squad for their 2015 African Youth Championship (AYC) final round of the first leg match against Lesotho.
Musa Muhammed of Turkish side Besiktas and Taiwo Awoniyi of Kalmar FC of Sweden were the only overseas-based players called up.
The coach explained that there was no cause for alarm as the team was blessed with a lot of talents that could produce the needed result against Lesotho. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]