Balogun dropped for Algeria clash
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Nigerian defender Leon Balogun has been dropped from the Super Eagles squad squaring off against the Desert Foxes of Algeria, Sunday PUNCH reports.
The Queens Park Rangers defender was one of the players originally listed in the 25-man sheet released on Friday but was dropped on Saturday following an injury update from the Nigeria Football Federation on Twitter.
He has now been replaced by Sochaux defender, Valentine Ozornwafor ahead of the September 27th clash against the 2019 African champions who are led by Manchester City attacker, Riyad Mahrez.
The NFF’s official Twitter handle, @thenff wrote, “Valentine Ozornwafor replaces injured Leon Balogun for Algeria clash.”
Ozornwafor was an obvious omission from the original list as his club had previously revealed in a statement on the 14th of September that he has earned an invitation from the NFF.
To add further confusion, Balogun, who the NFF claim is injured played the entire 90 minutes of QPR’s goalless draw against Stoke City on Saturday. The former Rangers defender further received praise from his coach after the game as Michael Beale, QPR manager said his experience has brought a lot of calm to the team.
Ozornwafor, already capped three times in the past for Nigeria is a former U-20 international and one of the few left-footed center-backs in the Super Eagles at the moment.
Balogun’s invitation, eventual removal, and the reason for the drop pose questions about the NFF’s competence.
With Semi Ajayi and Kenneth Omeruo set for lengthy spells on the sidelines, Ozornwafor has a chance to make a starting position in the Super Eagles National team his, or at least give himself a fighting chance with his performance against the Foxes.