Monday, 23 November 2015

Iheanacho ruled out of African U23 Championship


Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho has been ruled out of the 2015 African U23 Championship in Senegal, coach Samson Siasia has revealed.

The forward who part of the Super Eagles that silenced Swaziland in the 2018 Fifa World Cup second round qualifier will not join the Dream Team VI as they hope to secure a place in Rio 2016.
“The initial plans I had with the player and his representative was that he would join us at least five days to the competition and also help the team till the semi-finals stage which he agreed but later he told somebody very close to me that his club Manchester City is not convinced to release him again since he was dumped on the bench at the last Fifa U20 World Cup under Coach Manu Garba. So as it is right now I don’t think Kelechi Iheanacho will join us again,” Siasia toldGoal.
“The good news is that Junior Ajayi who is based in Tunisia has since Sunday joined us and we are expecting the team captain Azubuike (Okechukwu) and Taiwo Awoniyi to arrive on Tuesday so that we can have a full house to concentrate on for the tournament.”
The former Super Eagles’ handler confessed that his team still find it hard to score goals but vowed to do his best to ensure that the players convert at least two or three of five chances created in matches.
“This team has been creating a lot of chances in competitive matches and test matches but the problem is that they used to waste these begging chances which are not good for a team aspiring to win tournaments,” he continued.
“We are expecting the invited foreign based strikers like Awoniyi and Junior Ajayi who have been with the team for some time before they turned professionals to use their newly garnered experience to help the team score goals in the competition.
“We are targeting winning the competition or better still pick one of the qualification tickets for the 2016 Olympic Games.”
He confessed that he has been very disturbed and affected by the kidnap of his mother but had to concentrate on tinkering the U23 national team to get the 2016 Olympics against all odds.
“I will confess to you the kidnap of my mother really affects me but this is a national assignment which I need to make sure we get the qualification ticket for next year’s Olympics in Brazil.
“I want everybody most especially the federal government led by president Muhammadu Buhari, Bayelsa State Government and the Inspector General of Police to help me secure the release of my mother,” he concluded.
Nigeria missed out of the London 2012 Games men’s football event and would hope to qualify for Rio 2016 having been zoned in Group B alongside Egypt, Mali and Algeria.
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