Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, has recently released his 23-man roster to face Sierra Leone in the upcoming 2023 AFCON qualifiers. The list has sparked controversy among Nigerian football fans as some notable names were excluded from the squad.
Terem Moffi, the OGC Nice striker who played a crucial role in Nigeria’s 1-nil victory against Guinea-Bissau, was not invited to join the team. The decision puzzled the Nigerian football community, especially after Moffi’s stunning overhead strike against FC Basel was named the Europa Conference League Goal of the Season.
In an interview with Soccernet.ng, Peseiro shed light on his decision to omit Moffi from the squad. He revealed that he has a provisional list that consists of 45 players, and he was forced to select the best 23 players out of this list. Peseiro emphasized that he cannot call 10 strikers, and has to consider the best players from his provisional list.
“I can’t justify why I didn’t choose any player, [Terem] Moffi belongs to our list. We have a [provisional] list that consists of 45 players. These players, I believe in them, and I have confidence in them. But for each camp and match, I choose the best 19, the best 21, or 23 [players]. Now I decided to bring Taiwo [Awoniyi], Kelechi [Iheanacho], and Victor [Osimhen]. But Moffi, Paul [Onuachu], and Cyriel [Dessers] could not come with us. I picked some strikers. But, I didn’t call Gift [Orban], I didn’t call [Victor] Boniface. We have many players, but I cannot call 10 strikers. No team can play with 10 strikers,” Peseiro explained.
Aside from Moffi, other notable names such as Paul Onuachu, the yet-to-be-called Gift Orban, and Victor Boniface were also not included in Peseiro’s 23-man roster.
With Guinea-Bissau’s victory against São Tomé and Principe placing them above the Super Eagles in the group, the upcoming match against Sierra Leone becomes a priority for Peseiro’s boys. The team will travel to Liberia to tackle Sierra Leone, and it remains to be seen whether Peseiro’s decision to omit Moffi and other players will affect the team’s performance.