Super Eagles Squad Selection: Finidi George's Surprising Pick Over Ola Aina Revealed

Super Eagles Squad Selection: Finidi George's Surprising Pick Over Ola Aina Revealed

Ero Samson
updated at May 26, 2024 at 7:53 AM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Benin logo
Ola Aina logo
O. Aina
Nottingham Forest logoDNigeria logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Maduka Okoye logo
M. Okoye
Udinese logoGNigeria logo
Ismaila Sodiq logo
Ismaila Sodiq
Remo Stars logoD-
Nottingham Forest logo
Nottingham Forest
  • Finidi George recently unveiled the Super Eagles team for the clash against South Africa and Benin
  • The list featured notable absentees, including Nottingham Forest's Ola Aina and William Troost-Ekong
  • A report detailing the reason why Finidi opted against selecting Aina for the crunch fixtures has surfaced

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The squad list released by coach Finidi George for the crucial FIFA World Cup qualification matches against South Africa and the Benin Republic continues to ignite controversy across Nigeria’s football community.

While the list features some commendable new additions and the return of goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, it is the absence of several key players that has caused a significant uproar among fans of the national team.

Notably, vice-captain William Troost-Ekong and Ola Aina, who both starred in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, are omitted from the list. Their exclusion from Finidi’s squad has fueled intense discussions and debates.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, Ola Aina, NFF, Squad list, Finidi, FIFA World Cup, AFCON, CAF, Injury
Olaoluwa Aina looks on during the CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match between Nigeria and Angola at Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny on February 2. Image: Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

However, amid the swirling conversations regarding the team selection, a report has surfaced detailing the reasons behind Aina’s omission from the squad.

Why Aina was left out of the Super Eagles team list

According to a report from media outlet OwnGoalNigeria, Nottingham Forest defender, Aina, is currently sidelined with an undisclosed injury. This development has forced coach Finidi George to exclude him from the squad for the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

The 27-year-old also missed Nottingham Forest’s final Premier League fixture against Burnley. The report states that Aina has been playing through the latter stages of the EPL season with the aid of painkillers.

Aina is expected to use the upcoming summer break to fully recover, which led coach Finidi to select Remo Stars’ Sodiq Ismail, in his place.

It's worth noting that the last time Aina played for the Super Eagles was during the AFCON final, a match he participated in despite nursing a hamstring injury.

Key concerns from Finidi’s Super Eagles squad

Sports Brief in a previous report highlighted key concerns regarding coach Finidi's inaugural squad list for the fixtures against South Africa and Benin Republic.

The roster of the three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners featured some notable absentees, including AFCON MVP, William Troost-Ekong.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)