Former Super Eagles goalkeeper and one-time goal keepers’ trainer for the national team, Ike Shorunmu, has said that there is no reason to worry over the impending absence of England-base shot stopper, Carl Ikeme, from next weekend’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
In an exclusive chat with PREMIUM TIMES, Shorumu said while Ikeme has shown great quality since stepping into the national team set-up, the other three keepers invited to camp are equally good and can prove a point against the Algerians next weekend.
“I don’t think there is any cause for alarm over Ikeme, it is quite unfortunate that he is injured right now but the other goal keepers called up are also good in their own right and should be given the chance to prove their mettle,” Shorunmu said.
For Shorunmu, many did not expect so much from Ikeme when he was thrown in as the instant replacement for Vincent Enyema, but he did quite well right from his maiden game away to Tanzania.
“I think everything is about chance, Ikeme seized the opportunity that was given to him even though many did not expect so much, I just hope the keepers available
now will also take their chance,” he said.
At the moment, the trio of Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Alampasu are in the run to replace Ikeme in the Nigeria starting XI against the Desert Foxes.
While Alampasu and Ezenwa were in the original 24-man list invited by Coach Genort Rohr, South Africa-based Akpeyi got a late invitation after Ikeme was finally ruled out.
Already, football’s world ruling body, FIFA, has appointed respected Gambian official Bakary Papa Gassama as referee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Algeria, scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
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