Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) media officer, Ademola Olajire has confirmed that many of the Super Eagles’ players will not return to the country with the official delegation, as they have already returned to their various bases in Europe.
Olajire revealed that most of the players will not be in Nigeria late Friday, as they already left Russia for their respective bases to reunite with their families on holiday.
The Eagles departed Moscow airport by 2.50pm on Friday, after they arrived from their base camp in Essentuki earlier same day.
They flew out on Emirates Airline and will have a stop-over in Dubal before they connect a flight to Nigeria, but only eight players out of the 23 who made the World Cup list are on board – after most of the others quit the team’s camp differently.
This comes after the Eagles failed to reach the second round of the competition courtesy of a 1-2 loss to Argentina in the last Group D encounter in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, after which Ahmed Musa and Shehu Abdullahi were first to arrive in Nigeria on Thursday night.
Among the players who left the camp early are team captain John Mikel Obi, Odion Jude Ighalo, Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho, Leon Aderemi Balogun, Alex Iwobi, Kenneth Omeruo and Tyronne Ebuehi.
He said those still remaining in the camp are Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Odinaka Uzoho, John Ugochukwu Ogu, Chidozie Awaziem, Ogenekaro Etebo and Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo.
Olajire also said Brian Idowu is staying back in Russia, where he plays for Amkar Perm, while technical adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr stayed at the Eagles’ camp in Essentuki, after the management helped him mark his 65th birthday on Thursday, June 28.
“Instead of returning to Nigeria, the Super Eagles players have been returning to their respective bases one after the other,’’ Olajire disclosed.