Okoye replaces Adeleye in Super Eagles October Friendlies

Okoye replaces Adeleye in Super Eagles October Friendlies
Credit: Icon Sport

Jose Peseiro, the head coach of Nigeria Super Eagles, handed a late call-up to Udinese goalkeeper Maduka Okoye on Wednesday, October 11.

The 24-year old Udinese shot-stopper got the unexpected call-up as a result of the ongoing crisis between Israel and Hamas which has halted Hapoel Jerusalem's goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye from traveling to join the Super Eagles squad.

Israel came under attack from Hamas militias on Saturday, with hundreds of people confirmed dead while several others are either injured, missing or captured.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye
Maduka Okoye of Udinese Calcio warms up during the Serie A football match between US Salernitana and Udinese Calcio at Arechi stadium in Salerno (Italy), August 28th, 2023./Sipa USA No Sales in Italy – Photo by Icon sport

Domestic football has been suspended, and flights in and out of the country monitored under strict regulations.

The Nigeria national team is preparing to play two friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in the next six days.

Coach Peseiro had invited 25 players for the games, including three goalkeepers – Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, and Adeleye Adebayo. Unfortunately, Cyprus-based Uzoho is the only goalkeeper who has reported to the Super Eagles camp after it opened on Tuesday, October 10.

According to reports Enyimba goalkeeper Ojo may not be available for the game as he is reportedly in Lagos, waiting for his Portuguese visa.

Adeleye and Ojo are not among the 20 players already in the Super Eagles camp in Portugal. And the Nigeria Football Federation has invited Okoye to fill in for them just like Sadiq Umar was called up to replace injured Awoniyi.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye
Credit: Icon Sport

Interestingly, Okoye was the Super Eagles’ number-one goalkeeper at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but he fell out of favour after Nigeria crashed out of the tournament at the knockout stages under interim coach Austin Eguavoen.

Since Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat to Tunisia at the AFCON in Cameroon, Okoye has only been invited to one national team engagement – the 4-0 friendly defeat to Portugal in November 2022.

Nearly a year later, the 24-year-old gets another chance to impress coach Peseiro as the Super Eagles prepare for the 2023 AFCON in January.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.