Super Eagles

Victor Osimhen to miss Nigeria’s World Cup qualifiers due to Injury

Napoli star Victor Osimhen will not be playing in Nigeria’s crucial 2026 World Cup qualification matches against South Africa and Benin Republic.

The reigning CAF Footballer of the Year was originally included in the squad for the matches scheduled for June 7 against South Africa and June 10 against the Benin Republic.

However, the Nigerian team confirmed on Tuesday that Osimhen will be sidelined for four weeks due to injury.

“Camp update: Africa Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen is injured and out for 4 weeks,” read a tweet from the Super Eagles’ official X handle. “Super Eagles’ Coach Finidi George has called up Enugu Rangers’ left back Kenneth Igboke for the WC qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Rep.”

Osimhen’s absence is a significant setback for Nigeria’s World Cup aspirations. The Super Eagles currently sit third in Group C of the African qualification series, trailing leaders Rwanda and South Africa. Benin Republic, who are at the bottom with just one point, are the other team in the group alongside Lesotho and Zimbabwe, each with two points. Rwanda leads with four points.

The 25-year-old striker has been a vital player for Nigeria, notably contributing to their second-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) earlier this year.

However, Osimhen has not featured for the Super Eagles since the AFCON tournament due to injuries, missing friendly matches against Ghana and Mali.

With Osimhen out, the Super Eagles will need to rely on other key players to step up in these critical qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Coach Finidi George’s decision to call up Kenneth Igboke from NPFL side Enugu Rangers adds a fresh option to the squad’s defensive lineup.

As Nigeria prepares to face strong opponents, the team will need to rally and adapt to the absence of their star forward to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

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