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Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen has shockingly revealed that he did not make the decision to recall Onazi Ogenyi insisting the call-up of the midfielder for the crucial 2022 World Cup playoff against Ghana this month was to ‘pacify everybody’.
The Super Eagles interim trainer astonishingly revealed that the technical team are not even aware of the form of the Saudi Arabia-based player even though he is part of the 32-man team he named for the two-legged matches.
His claims suggest that Onazi was imposed on him by persons he did not name even though the technical team was not keen on calling the Al-Adalah FC midfielder.
Onazi was included in the 32-man team to play in the 2021 World Cup playoffs and he was placed on the list of standbys.
However, his recall has caused massive controversy in Nigeria leaving many Super Eagles supporters stunned.
Eguavoen has added more fuel to the fire by revealing that he was not the one who made the decision to invite the player.
“Onazi, good player. Whether he’s still good and can play at that level, we don’t know,” coach Eguavoen said indicating that he did not even monitor the player for the call-up.
“But that’s why I said to pacify everybody, to ensure there’s harmony here, put him on the standby. While he’s on the standby, I have the final say.” Eguavoen said.
The Super Eagles’ coach’s revelation shows that people within the federation have been interfering with his call-ups to the national team.
The two sides will be playing in an upcoming two-legged playoff later in the month which is expected to be fiery.
That is becasue the two matches will determine which will secure qualification to the 2022 World Cup tournament scheduled to take place in Qatar in the coming year.
Ghana hosts the opening leg of the World Cup play-off in Cape Coast on Friday, March 25.
The return leg will be in Abuja next Tuesday March 29.
The Black Stars appointed former Newcastle and Brighton manager Chris Hughton as technical advisor this month.
Otto Addo is head coach of the team.
Ghana has fired coach Milovan Rajevac after their group stage exile of the Nations Cup in Cameroon.
Nigeria squad to face Ghana
Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus).
Defenders: Ola Aina (Torino, Italy), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal), William Troost Ekong (Watford, England), Sheyi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Leon Balogun (Rangers, Scotland), Calvin Bassey (Rangers, Scotland), Shehu Abdullahi (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus).
Midfielders: Joe Aribo (Rangers, Scotland), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Frank Onyeka (Brentford, England), Peter Etebo (Watford, England), Akinkunmi Amoo ( FC Copenhagen, Denmark).
Forwards: Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Moses Simon (Nantes, France), Sadiq Umar (Almeria, Spain), Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey), Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy), Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia) Emmanuel Dennis (Watford, England), Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England).
Stand-by list: Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Jamilu Collins (Paderborn, Germany), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany), Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium), Ogenyi Onazi (Al Adalah, Saudi Arabia)