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Everton’s Iwobi cleared for Nigeria Cup qualifier

By AFP |   30 March 2021   |   11:15 am  

Everton’s Nigerian midfielder Alex Iwobi runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage in London on November 22, 2020. – Everton won the match 3-2. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP)

Everton forward Alex Iwobi is available for Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho on Tuesday after a second Covid-19 test came out “negative”, team spokesman Babafemi Raji said.

Iwobi missed the qualifier in Benin on Saturday after apparently testing positive for Covid-19.

He quit the Super Eagles training camp on his return from Benin, but coach Gernot Rohr insisted the test result in Benin was “fake”.

Rohr said after Monday night’s training that Iwobi would be expected to start ahead of Henry Onyekuru on the left side of the attack if his test result was negative.

“If he is negative he can play, if not, we will play again with Henry on the left side, like we did in Benin,” he said.

The game will be the first international staged in the commercial capital of Lagos for10 years.

Lagos was for many years the home of the country’s team and it was in this bustling port city that Nigeria celebrated some of their biggest achievements – gold at the 1973 All Africa Games, a first-ever Africa Cup triumph in 1980 and qualification for their debut World Cup in 1994.

But the poor state of the National Stadium pitch forced matches to be played elsewhere.

The Confederation of African Football has approved 8,000 spectators to watch the qualifier at the 24,000-capacity Teslim Balogun Stadium in the sprawling city of over 20 million inhabitants.

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