AFCON 2022 QUALIFIERS Rohr Clarifies Why ‘Non-playing Captain’ Musa was Invited to Camp

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Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr

Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, has thrown more lights on the reason why club-less captain of the team, Ahmed Musa was included in the 24-man rooster for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

The inclusion of the 28-year old Nigerian with highest four goals at the FIFA World Cup in the final team list has generated criticism from a section of the local media and trending on all digital platforms.

But the Franco-German gaffer explained that Ahmed Musa was given an honorary place in Nigeria’s squad and is not expected to play.

Since leaving Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in October last year, Musa has not played competitive game for five months.

The Super Eagles Coach was forced to clarify and defend Musa’s non-playing role as the 24th player.

“It’s important to clarify that Musa is not in the competitive list of 23 players for our game against Benin and Lesotho,” Rohr told BBC Sport Africa on Wednesday.

“We’ve invited Musa as the captain by making him the 24th player, but he is not as part of the 23 on the list that will play our two matches.

“What is important now is to focus on the games ahead and not to be distracted by anything else. We hope for all our players to be fit and travel down safely for the matches.”

However Saudi Arabia-based striker Odion Ighalo is not included in the squad as he continues to consider a request from Rohr to come out of international retirement.

On the final match day, Nigeria will host Lesotho in the commercial city of Lagos on 30 March.

Three-time continental champions Nigeria currently top Group L on eight points, one ahead of Benin while Sierra Leone have three points and Lesotho two