Alex Iwobi will not be available for Nigeria’s final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho after testing positive for Covid-19, officials told AFP on Monday.
Everton forward Iwobi tested positive before Saturday’s 1-0 away win over Benin, and travelled back to Nigeria with the rest of the squad on Sunday.
“Iwobi has left the camp,” Eagles spokesman Babafemi Raji told AFP.
“Before he left, he did not show any symptoms, he was fine.”
Iwobi, 24, has scored twice during the qualifying campaign for the delayed Cup of Nations, which will be hosted by Cameroon in January next year.
Nigeria’s win over Benin guaranteed them top spot in Group L although they had already qualified before kick-off thanks to a goalless draw between Lesotho and Sierra Leone.
Gernot Rohr’s side have 11 points from five matches and are seven points ahead of third-placed Sierra Leone, with the top two teams in the group qualifying for the tournament.
Nigeria host bottom side Lesotho in Lagos on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s castaway armband to be auctioned to help suffering baby
The captain’s armband that Cristiano Ronaldo flung to the ground in disgust after Portugal were controversially denied a late winner at the weekend in the World Cup qualifier against Serbia was put on auction on Tuesday in a bid to help a sick child.
With the scores level at 2-2 in Belgrade, Ronaldo thought he had scored the crucial goal in stoppage time when the ball appeared to cross the goalline before Stefan Mitrovic cleared.
But without technology in use, the goal was not awarded.
A fuming Ronaldo was booked for his protests and at the final whistle, as he stormed from the pitch, he threw his captain’s armband to the ground.
One of the stewards at the stadium picked it up and immediately contacted a regional sports channel with the idea of auctioning it for charity.
The man, who requested anonymity, told AFP he suggested raising funds required to treat a six-month-old baby, Gavrilo Djurdjevic, who is suffering from a rare disease.
“He (Ronaldo) threw the armband three metres away from me, and the idea immediately occured to me that this (sale) could be a good opportunity,” the man told AFP by phone.
“I realised we had some attention and could do something nice for Gavrilo”, he added.
After the sports channel Sportklub verified the item’s authenticity by checking post-match photos and videos, they teamed up with a charity organisation and put Ronaldo’s armband up for a bidding contest on auctioning website Limundo.com.
“I hope we will be able to reach Ronaldo himself… so we could help Gavrilo as much as we can,” Branislav Jocic, social media manager of Sportklub told AFP.
The infant is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which affects about one in 10,000 births, and results in death or the need for permanent ventilation by the age of two in 90 percent of cases.
His hope is pinned on a one-time gene treatment Zolgensma, also known as the “world’s most expensive drug”, which would cost more than two million euros ($2.35 million).
Fundraising campaigns to help children suffering from SMA have recently taken the poor Balkan country by storm, raising the required amounts for five babies last year alone.
Only hours after being put on auction, early Tuesday afternoon, the armband had reached the price of 360,000 dinars (around 3,000 euros) — donations can also be made direct to the charity.
Just In: Hours before today’s match, CAF clears Iwobi to play against Lesotho
Confederation of African Football (CAF) has cleared Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi, to play in Nigeria’s game against Lesotho.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced this in a tweet on Tuesday, hours before the African Cup of Nations qualifier set to be played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos today.
This comes after an earlier announcement that Iwobi had tested negative for COVID-19.
The management of the Super Eagles team had questioned Iwobi’s COVID-19 positive test result that forced the Everton star to miss Nigeria’s African cup of Nations qualifier against the Benin republic last week, Saturday.
The test result also meant that Iwobi, who immediately left the camp and went into isolation, may not feature in the team’s game against Lesotho.
But, the NFF, in a tweet on Tuesday morning, announced that further tests carried out on the player returned negative.
3SC vs Nilayo: Oluyole Warriors Eye Eight Straight Win
Nigeria National League (NNL) Group B1 leaders, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, look set to secure their eight straight win of the season as they confront FC Nilayo of Abeokuta.
On paper, the Oluyole Warriors should have little or no problem in beating their opponent, going by the performance of both sides in the eight week old season.
With a hundred percent record so far in the season, pundits are already looking forward to another blistering outing from the Ibadan soccer lords against the visitors in the match day eight encounter, scheduled for the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode.
However, Considering the words of Shooting Stars’ Chief coach, Edith Agoye, the red hot Oluyole Warriors are not ready to give room for complacency, hence Nilayo may be in for a very difficult time.
“As far as we are concerned, no team is a pushover in this contest. Every team wants to win the group, therefore, we are always ready to take on all our opponents with utmost seriousness,” coach Agoye stated.
The first time both sides met was on December15, 2019 in a Group B1 game of the botched 2019/20 season in which NIlayo scored a second half equaliser to end the tie 1-1 after Muritala Taye had put the Stars ahead in the first half.
The Oluyole Warriors were ruthless when the two sides met again in November 2020, this time in a group game of the second edition of the Prince Dapo Abiodun Pre season Tournament held in Ijebu-Ode.
In the match, played on the practice pitch of the Dipo Dina Stadium, a brace by Abbey Benson and a goal each by Omololu Waheed, Gafar Olafimihan and Mohammed Mohammed gave 3SC a 5-1 win.
It is therefore a match, in which Shooting Stars will attempt to win, to confirm their superiority, while Nilayo will aim at ending the dominance of the Oluyole Warriors over them.
While Shooting Stars are sitting comfortably on top of the log with maximum 21 points,, 6th placed FC Nilayo go into this match with nine points.