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Okocha unhappy over ‘strange’ Maduka Okoye AFCON snub

Nigerian football legend Austin Okocha is not happy over the ‘strange’ decision to snub Udinese goalkeeper Maduka Okoye on the Super Eagles 2023 AFCON squad.

Okoy who once held sway as Nigeria’s number-one goalkeeper has been sidelined since the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon, where Nigeria faced an early exit after a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia, with light-skinned goalie receiving blame for allowing a long-range winner.

Okoye Super Eagles
Maduka Okoye

Since he took charge as head coach, Jose Peseiro has consistently chosen Frank Uzoho as his primary goalkeeper in the year and a half.

For the 2023 AFCON, Jose Peseiro invited Francis Uzoho, South Africa based Stanley Nwabili, and Enyimba FC goalie Olorunleke Ojo.

READ ALSO: Maduka Okoye’s girlfriend reacts to claims of dispute with Nigerian goalkeeper

Okocha is surprised that the only Nigerian goalkeeper playing in Europe’s top five leagues has been overlooked.

In an interview with Osasu Obayiuwana, the former PSG and Bolton Wanderers playmaker expressed his surprise, stating, “He [Okoye] is the one keeper that has the type of training and football upbringing that we need in a goalkeeper in the national team. But he is excluded. It’s strange.”

In the abscence of Maduka Okoye and other experienced hands, Frank Uzoho appears set to retain the position of Nigeria’s number-one goalkeeper at the upcoming AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.

Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign begins with a game vs Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, January 14, 2024 In Abidjan.

The Eagles will face tournament hosts Cote d’Ivoire before completing the group stage vs Guinea Bissau.

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