AFCON 2023

January 6, 2024

AFCON 2023: Ndidi’s withdrawal won’t affect Super Eagles – NFF

AFCON 2023: Ndidi’s withdrawal won’t affect Super Eagles – NFF


President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, has allayed fears surrounding Wilfred Ndidi’s departure from the Super Eagles’ camp ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ndidi, a key player in Peseiro’s squad, was replaced by Royal Antwerp player Alhassan Yusuf after sustaining an injury ahead of the Super Eagles AFCON 2023 campaign.

Gusau said in an interview on the NFF’s website on Saturday that there was no cause for alarm.

He said that the team could perform well even without the Leicester City midfielder.

“I don’t have any tension because I know we played a lot of matches without Ndidi and won a lot of matches without him.

“We also played a lot of matches with Ndidi and lost unexpectedly, so it’s not about Ndidi; it’s about the national team of Nigeria,” he said.

NAN also reports that Ndidi’s replacement, Yusuf, currently making an impact for Antwerp, notably scored a vital goal in their UEFA Champions League match against Portuguese opposition.

He also provided an assist in his team’s victory against FC Barcelona.

Gusau expressed confidence in Yusuf’s contributions to the AFCON campaign, citing his impressive performance against FC Barcelona as a positive indicator.

“The young boy that was brought in now, Yusuf, is also doing wonderfully well with his team.

“When they played against Barcelona, you could see the performance he put on in the win against Barcelona in the Champions League,” the NFF president said.

Drawing parallels to Sunday Mba’s pivotal performance in AFCON 2013, Gusau hoped that the young Nigerian talent, Yusuf, would replicate a similar impact.

“He’s also a young boy; maybe it’s an opportunity for him to do a miracle.

“Don’t forget everybody did not have confidence in Mba when we went to the AFCON in 2013, and at the end of the day, Mba was one of the players that performed a miracle,” he said.

“Nobody knows what Yusuf is going to be on the team, so it’s not about Ndidi; it’s about the Super Eagles.”

NAN also reports that the Super Eagles are scheduled to face Guinea in an upcoming preparatory match before heading to Cote d’Ivoire for their AFCON campaign.

The 2023 AFCON, which kicks off on January 13, will end on February 11. (NAN)