Super Eagles’ handler, Gernot Rohr has expressed worries over foreign-based players availability for the Mexico friendly at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.
Rohr said he will be able to select players only from the Nigerian domestic league for the fixture against CONCACAF Gold Cup holders Mexico, with his Europe-based contingent expected to be on vacation or with their clubs in pre-season ahead of the new campaign.
“To get the Super Eagles in Europe is impossible,” Rohr told ESPN.
The situation is exacerbated by the timing of the fixture, which forms part of Mexico’s MexTour series, as it comes outside of the FIFA window for international matches.
Rohr may look to select players such as Nashville SC defender Jalil Anibaba from Major League Soccer to play in the Super Eagles team against Mexico.
Nigeria-based players however do need to come together in order to start preparing for the next African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers and to provide a pathway into the senior squad.
But the timing and venue of the fixture between the three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions and Mexico, with its potential for visa pitfalls, have left Rohr scratching his head.
In the event of some or all of the Nigerian players running into visa issues, Rohr might have to explore the option of calling up players from Major League Soccer and USL Championship in the United States.
“That is a possibility,” he said. “But we will have to wait and see.”
That might open the door to the likes of Sunusi Ibrahim, who joined CF Montreal recently from Nasarawa United, with whom he led the Nigeria Professional Football League scoring table with 10 goals from 22 games of an abridged season.
Also likely available for selection would be the veteran duo of Nashville SC’s Jalil Anibaba and Sebastien Ibeagha of New York City FC, and David Egbo of Vancouver Whitecaps.