Azubuike Egwuekwe : Why Nigeria Need Homebased Players For The New 2023 AFCON

Former Super Eagles defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe, expresses worry over the snub of exceptional Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) players from Nigeria’s 25-man squad for the 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) npflupdates.com reports.

Egwuekwe played down the exclusion of outfield players from the local NPFL from Super Eagles 25-man AFCON squad.

Also read: Osaze Odemwingie : I Dreamt Nigeria Will Win The AFCON

Egwuekwe canvas inclusion of NPFL players in the Super Eagles.
Egwuekwe against Iniesta during a FIFA confederations cup fixture.

José Peseiro last week released the official list of players he’d be using in Cote d’Ivoire to ensure Nigeria win a fourth AFCON title.

Egwuekwe talks about Super Eagles team without homebased players

According to Egwuekwe, it’s no longer news that the Nigeria CHAN (homebased) Eagles have not been able to qualify for the CHAN tournament on several occasions. But, that doesn’t imply, there are no good homebased players of NPFL extraction.

“I know that the home-based players have not been to the African Nations Championship (CHAN) for a while, but that doesn’t mean we do not have good players in the league,” Egwuekwe was quoted by TheCable Nigeria.

The former Supersports United defender, canvassed support for the NPFL players, stressing that they need chance to showcase their talents.

“They just need to be given a chance, and they will deliver. My own is that I know we have good players in Europe, but we need the home-based players, too. Because there are times in football when you do not need tiki-taka but physicality. I believe the home-based players will bring that physicality and aggressiveness to the team,” he said.

Azubuike line up for Nigeria

Also read: Lookman Fires Warning To 2023 AFCON Opponent With Fantastic Atalanta Finish

Egwuekwe reminisced that the 2013 AFCON victory proved that the inclusion of home-based players is important innconquering African football.

“I was sad about the lack of more home-based players in the team. I was not really happy because this is African football that we are going to play, and we need some home-based players in the team. Because that was what made us win the 2013 AFCON. African football is totally different from what they play in Europe,” he said

“Nigeria has one of the best players in Europe, but we also have good players in the Nigerian league. For me, we should give the Nigerian league players a chance in the national team because this is African football, not the World Cup or the Confederation Cup. We are going to play an African team. A lot of players like me, Sunday Mbah, Juwon Oshaniwa, and [Godfrey] Oboabona were playing in the Nigerian league when we went to AFCON in 2013 and won the trophy.”

Victor Moses in 2013 helped the Super Eagles win its third AFCON title
Victor Moses posing with the AFCON title.

Also read: Peseiro : MY First Ambition Is To Win The 2023 AFCON For Nigeria

Egwuekwe was one of the six homebased players that won the 2013 AFCON in South Africa. Nigeria under the tutelage of Late Stephen Keshi, defeated the Burkinabe 1-0 to win the covetous prize.

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