There is a brewing drama in the Super Eagles camp, with a number of players having pulled out of the squad to prosecute Nigeria’s double-header against Cameroon. Players to have pulled out include FC Twente defender Tyronne Ebuehi, FC Nantes winger Moses Simon, Fulham defender Ola Aina, FC Midtjylland midfielder Frank Onyeka, Crotone striker Simy Nwankwo, and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
The players have stated that injuries have been key to their decisions, with some of them like Moses Simon having been involved in a late season that only finished at the weekend. However, the problem runs much deeper as the team is owed bonuses for two 2019 friendlies against Brazil and Ukraine, as well as all 6 of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers. The coach also has not been paid for 7 months by the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF).
An anonymous player was quoted as having said the team would be best served if they did not participate in a meaningless friendly for which they would not receive payment, having already been owed match bonuses for close to two years. The player in question proposed that they sit out such friendlies in order to return to their club sides for preseason training and to keep fit for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Only the team’s most senior players and newbies have indicated that they would be available for the matches against the Indomitable Lions on June 4th and 8th in Austria.