Abia Warriors’ Adekunle Adeleke has been called up as a replacement for Leganes’ central defender Kenneth Omeruo for Nigeria’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.
Omeruo was part of Gernot Rohr’s 24-man squad that was named to face the Republic of Benin and Lesotho for the qualifiers.
The Super Eagles will take on Squirrels at Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo on March 27 before facing the Crocodiles three days later at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Omeruo has been delivering spectacular performances for Leganes this season.
Leganes won’t allow Omeruo to honour the invitation. They believe that the necessary Covid-19 protocol to enable him to play for the Super Eagles has not been followed.
The Nigeria Football Federation have moved swiftly to announce Abia Warriors enforcer Adeleke as the 27-year-old’s replacement.
“Adeleke Adekunle of @AbiaWarriors replaces @omeruo22,” read a statement from the NFF media channel.
Kenneth Omeruo is the fourth player to be stopped by club for the qualifiers due to Covid-19 protocol after Nantes’ Moses Simon, who has been replaced by Genk’s Paul Onuachu, and Samuel Kalu. Also replaced is Sadiq Umar by Anayo Iwuala.
Nigeria lead Group L of the Afcon qualifiers with eight points and a win over either Benin or Lesotho will seal their place at the continental showpiece in Cameroon.
The Super Eagles finished third in the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt behind winners Algeria and Senegal.