Nigeria national team goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu has defended the call-ups of Ventspils’ Dele Alampasu and SKF Sered‘s Mathew Yakubu for the Super Eagles.
Sparta Rotterdam’s Maduka Okoye is also included in the list while regulars, South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, Enyimba’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa and APOEL Nicosia’s Francis Uzoho were not selected for various reasons.
Ezenwa has been inactive since the outbreak of coronavirus which forced the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) into a hiatus.
Akpeyi is still recuperating from an injury which ruled him out for Kaizer Chiefs toward the end of the 2019-20 season.
Uzoho only recently recovered from a cruciate ligament injury and he is yet to feature for APOEL Nicosia since joining the side in July.
Agu explains the invited goalkeepers for the friendlies, that they have been playing consistently for their respective clubs.
“In Europe, there have been competitions and games going on, while the NPFL is yet to commence due to the coronavirus," Agu told Punch.
“Same with the Premier Soccer League in South Africa where Daniel Akpeyi plays, the league has just ended.
“Uzoho as well is just returning to full fitness after a long injury lay off and we are watching him. He still needs some time to get back into shape and we are watching him. Definitely, he is still part of the team.
“Alampasu and Yakubu have been active for their respective teams and that earned them places in the team.”
Nigeria have lined up the friendlies as part of their preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against Sierra Leone in November.
The Super Eagles lead Group L with six points following victories over the Republic of Benin and Lesotho in November 2019.The three-time African champions finished third in the last edition of the continental showpiece in Egypt, behind champions Algeria and Senegal.