Maduka Okoye Joins Super Eagles Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers

Maduka Okoye Joins Super Eagles Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers
Maduka Okoye

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye joined his teammates late Wednesday night in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, for the crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Okoye’s arrival means new coach Finidi George now has the full complement of his 23-man squad for the crucial qualifiers against South Africa on Friday and Benin Republic on Monday.

Okoye was among eight players stranded in Lagos and Abuja on Monday due to the nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress, which disrupted flight operations across the country.

The industrial action threw general planning for the big match into disarray, forcing the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to arrange chartered flights to transport the stranded players to the Akwa Ibom State capital.

While the others arrived in Uyo on Tuesday, Okoye’s arrival was delayed, with the federation not providing reasons for his prolonged stay in Abuja.

Confirming Okoye’s arrival in Uyo, Eagles media officer Promise Efoghe stated on the team’s WhatsApp platform, “Update: Maduka Okoye has arrived at the Eagles nest. All 23 players in camp.”

According to the NFF, most of the match officials were also booked on flights out of Abuja on Wednesday, with only referee assessor Ahmed Sayed Abou Elela from Egypt expected to arrive in Nigeria on Thursday.

Nigeria has managed only two points from their opening two games in Group C and must win both upcoming matches to keep their hopes alive for qualifying for the 2026 World Cup finals in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Rwanda currently leads the group with four points from two games, while South Africa sits in second place with three points, one point ahead of third-place Nigeria.

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