Heartland’s Emeka Ogbuh and Abdulrahman Bashir of Nasarawa United have both earned late call-up into the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All Stars jetting out Monday, August 8, for a playing tour with clubs in the Spanish LaLiga.
Their inclusion draws from injury scare for Gabriel Wasa of Niger Tornadoes and visa challenges for Hussain Bata of El-Kanemi Warriors. Wasa however is still to travel with the team as Coach Salisu Yusuf is hoping on his possible recovery before the matches kick off.
Bata whose visa processing was not completed was thus not part of the 25-man squad of the NPFL All-Star team that departed Lagos in the early hours of Monday for the Maiden NPFL-LaLiga tour which kicks-off on Wednesday, August 10.
Another injury worry was Ibrahim Alhassan of Wikki Tourists who was earlier declared not fit by team doctors but passed a late fitness test at the Abuja National Hospital on Saturday and was included in the squad.
The entire Nigerian delegation travel to Spain aboard Morocco Air and would be arriving Spainlater on Monday in time for the team to have their first training preparatory to the opening friendly against Valencia CF on Wednesday.
The League Management Company (LMC) in a statement listed the players on the trip to include goalkeepers, Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah) Theophillus Afelokhai (Enyimba) and Emeka Nwabulu of Wikki Tourists.
Others are Chima Akas (Enyimba), Mathew Etim (Rangers), Austin Obarokpo (Abia Warriors) and Jamiu Aliyu of Kano Pillars. Also in the squad are Enyimba’s Joseph Osadiaye, Rabiu Ali of Kano Pillars, Godwin Obaje of Wikki Tourists and Ezekiel Bassey of Enyimba.
Obinna Nwobodo of Rangers, Emmanuel Ariwa (Akwa United), Ifeanyi Ifeanyi of MFM, Ismaila Gata of FC IfeanyiUbah, Samuel Nweke of Nasarawa United and Charles Henlong of Wikki Tourists also made the list.
The rest of the squad are Dayo Ojo of Sunshine Stars, Chisom Egbuchulam of Rangers, Sikiru Olatunbosun of MFM, Chinedu Udoji of Enyimba and his team mate Dami Ojo.
The NPFL All-Star team will on August 12 play their first match in the Carranza World Club Tournament against Malaga CF in Cadiz at 9.30pm and a win will guarantee them a place in the finals while a loss will mean they play in the losers final against the winner between Atletico and Cadiz CF, hosts of the tournament on August 13.
The tour is an integral component of the technical and commercial partnership signed in April 2016 between the LMC and LaLiga. During the tour, some LMC officials and NPFL Club Managers will take part in capacity building workshops on match organisation, digital marketing and general administration.
The Nigerian delegation will return on August 15.