Futbalgalore.com has been reliably informed that getting foreign based players for the upcoming Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Egypt will be difficult because clubs were not ready to release their players for the event.
First team players like Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi, Azubuike Okechukwu, Kelechi Nwakali, Sunday Faleye, Chidozie Awaziem and Kingsley Michael are doubtful for the eight-nation tournament.
The 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations will be the third edition of the quadrennial international age-restricted football championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The tournament will be played between 8–22 November 2019. It will determine which three African teams will compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics men’s football tournament in Japan.
According to the clubs, the tournament is not sanctioned by FIFA and clubs are not obliged to release their players hence their reluctance to allow their players to travel.
In an exclusive interview with Futbalgalore.com, a top official of the Olympic Eagles said, “The clubs aren’t prepared to leave their players for four to five weeks.”
“And the next fifa date is on 13th November so we’re looking at alternatives.
The official added that the only players who would be available will be those who are not better than what we have in our local league.
“Fringe players would only be the ones we can get and they are no way better than the locals. The coaches will rely more on the domestic league players. If we get some of foreign lads for the tournament in Egypt, then we will be fine. If it’s the other way round, we will also be fine.
The Olympic Eagles are the defending champions in the Africa U23 Cup of Nations after winning it in 2015 in Dakar and are expected to defend the flag of Nigeria come November in Egypt.