NPFL Invitational: Yusuf calls up Akas, Nura ahead Plateau Utd game

By George Akpayen

Head coach of the Super Eagles bound for CHAN, Salisu Yusuf, has extended late calls to the duo of Nura Mohammed and Chima Akas in place of Joseph Osadiaye and Afeez Aremu respectively before their NPFL Invitational game against Plateau United on Wednesday.


Enyimba winger Osadiaye is currently out injured and Yusuf has turned to El-Kanemi Warriors youngster to take his place while Chima Akas makes a return to the Nigeria squad for Akwa United midfielder Aremu who has reportedly signed a deal to join Norwegian club IK Start.

Yusuf took time to explain to on the eve of their first game at the NPFL pre-season tournament that losing key players to clubs abroad few weeks to the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco is a "disadvantage" for his team but believes it is a good development for the country.

"The most important thing is to get positive reaction from the players during this NPFL pre-season tournament as we continue to prepare for the CHAN.

"Losing players to clubs abroad is a disadvantage to us (the team going to CHAN) but at the same time, it is good for the main team because these players will be exposed to a much advanced atmosphere and facilities," Yusuf told

Wednesday's game against NPFL champions Plateau United at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano will be the first time that Yusuf's men will regroup after their 4-1 defeat in the final of the WAFU Cup of Nations to Ghana in September.

The national team will conclude their Group A outing at the NPFL Invitational when they play against seven-time league winners Enyimba on Friday which could determine which side reaches the showpiece game on Sunday. However the finalists in Group A could depend on results of Yusuf's team in their two games on Matchdays 2 and 3.

According to, the second phase of camping for the Super Eagles ahead CHAN will begin next month after five players would have been dropped from the present 30 list for the NPFL Invitational.

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