South Africa Plotting to Unleash Nigerian against Super Eagles


Femi Solaja

In a desperate move to ensure that Bafana Bafana beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles 

In the 2026 World Cup qualifiers schedule to hold next month in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, South Africa’s football chiefs are plotting to draft a 20-year Nigerian player to their squad.

Ime Okon is a talented youngster born to a Nigerian father by a South African lady. He is qualified to play for either of the two nations.

According to reports in South African media yesterday, pressure is  on SAFA officials to draft him to Bafana Bafana squad before Nigeria calls him up.

Okon  is one of the breakthrough young stars for SuperSport United this season together with Shandre Campbell. Okon holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and South Africa.

Currently a central defender for SuperSport United, Bafana Bafana legend, Andre Arendse, yesterday urged SAFA to be decisive and secure the future of the highly-promising youngster.

He has been named in provisional squads a few times by Bafana coach Hugo Broos but he is yet to earn a cap, and Arendse is concerned South Africa may lose a “super talent” to rivals Nigeria.

As a sign of his burgeoning career, the tall central defender has made 18 appearances for coach Gavin Hunt in the DStv Premiership and has tasted continental football with six appearances in the Confederation Cup.

“Ime Okon is the next one on the radar (of Ronwen Williams when it comes to development) and I don’t want to hype him up or put him out there and say he is the best because he is only 20,” said Arendse, who is assistant coach to Hunt.

“He is a super talent but I am not intending to put pressure on him though I know he can handle it. He is starting to prove he can handle pressure during games and we need to look after him.

“You spoke about dual citizenship and we better be careful we don’t lose him because he is definitely one for the future. I know what I am talking about because I have had the privilege of playing behind some of the best defenders in South Africa.

“I don’t need to mention names, you guys know who I am talking about, but I am telling you in a few year’s time he’s going to be up there.”

What perhaps is making South African officials to become desperately in search of a credible central defender is the spate of injuries involving Mothobi Mvala. There is also Grant Kekana and Siyanda Xulu — and I read Siyabonga Ngezana had an issue with his travel documents, but I don’t know what is happening there. 

SuperSport United sources hinted that Ime Okon is a strong supper of the Super Eagles and has been supporting the team each time they are on international tournament like the AFCON and the World Cup.

Related Articles