Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, has once again, withdrawn from the Super Eagles upcoming matches slated for end of May and early June, reports bestchoicesports.com.ng.
The Watford FC of England new goalkeeper has asked to be excluded from the 30-man Super Eagles list to face Mexico and Ecuador.
Okoye, who is set to link up with Watford, which have been demoted to the English Championship, last week guided his team, Sparta Rotterdam out of relegation in the Netherlands’ Eredivisie.
According to reports, Okoye has communicated to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that he won’t be available for the two friendly matches.
No reason has been given for his absence per the time of filing in this report, thus, fueling talks of the goalkeeper potentially quitting the national team.
Okoye was largely targeted by a section of Nigerian fans and media after the team’s round of 16 exit at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroun, with many blaming him for the decisive goal scored by Tunisia.
Since after the tournament, he hasn’t represented Nigeria as he made a last minute decision to shun the World Cup playoffs against Ghana, which ended Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the showpiece in Qatar.
His absence has opened the door for the duo of Akwa United’s Adewale Adeyinka and Ojo Olorunleke to stake a claim for the number one spot of the team
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old goalkeeper is set to be named Watford FC number one following Ben Foster’s decision that he would not drop to the Championship with the club. Foster confirmed he would be leave Watford at the end of the season.