Super Eagles’ coach and technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has clarified the invitation of Ahmed Musa for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers saying he was selected as a non-playing captain and will not participate in the two matches.
The forward was a surprise inclusion in the 24-man team released by the German tactician on Tuesday, given the winger has not played a competitive game since the Super Eagles’ last Afcon qualifying game against Sierra Leone in November.
The 28-year-old has been without a club since October when he parted ways with Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr by mutual agreement.
Nigeria fans had taken to social media to lambast the 67-year-old for his decisions, forcing the German to clarify the role the captain will play for his side in the outings.
“It’s important to clarify that Musa is not in the competitive list of 23 players for our game against Benin and Lesotho,” Rohr told BBC Sport Africa.
“We’ve invited Musa as the captain by making him the 24th player, but he is not part of the 23 on the list that will play our two matches.
“What is important now is to focus on the games ahead and not to be distracted by anything else. We hope for all our players to be fit and travel down safely for the matches.”
Nigeria will take on the Republic of Benin at Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo on 27 March before facing the Crocodiles three days later at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The three-time African champions led the Group L table with eight points, one ahead of second-placed Benin, while Sierra Leone have three points and Lesotho two.
Victory in either of their outings in March will seal Nigeria’s place at the 2022 edition of the continental competition.