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2026 WCQ: Passport Problem Knocks Out Okoye — Peseiro

2026 WCQ: Passport Problem Knocks Out Okoye — Peseiro

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has revealed that Maduka Okoye pulled out of his side’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe because of passport issues.

Okoye caused a stir after pulling out of the games earlier this week.

There was no official explanation from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on his decision to withdraw from the squad.

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Peseiro told journalists at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Wednesday that the shot stopper has ”issues”with his passport.

This would have affected his travel to Nigeria and also his identification for the World Cup qualifiers.

Peseiro has already called up Bendel Insurance goalie Amas Obasogie as a replacement for the Udinese star.

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  • I feel really bad that Okoye has stayed away from honouring several national team invitations recently. This time *passport issues* are to be blamed.

    He was a high flier in Holland when he controversially pulled out of the world cup qualifiers against Ghana. Who knows, Eguavoen may have used him in Uzoho’s stead with history re-written in our favour.

    Back then, I was critical of Okoye, expressing my concerns about his goalkeeping skills. I just felt he wasn’t precocious.

    But with time I have become more sympathetic. I respect the fact that he has been working really hard to improve himself in his trade. But I don’t think he is mentally mature or ready for the criticisms that naturally come from being a goalkeeper.

    Which is why I duff my hat for people like Akpeyi and Uzoho.

    Their will power must be made of adamantium. The more fans abuse them, the stiffer their resolve.

    Unless Rohr himself chose to drop Akpeyi or Peseiro likewise with Uzoho, aggrieved fans can go and drink otapiapia: Uzoho and Akpeyi would honour national team invitations and they would take their places in between the sticks on match days if selected as number one.

    I think Okoye needs to develop that cement-like resolve. Fans are not coaches and no matter what we say, coaches will select whomever they want and play these players.

    Despite the backlash from England fans and press, Coach Southgate continues to select Manchester United flop Harry Maguire.

    Okoye should man-up. I am not his fan but he is not a sub-par goalkeeper. He has glaring shortcomings but age is on his side and he has massive potentials to improve exponentially.

    By shunning national team invitations, he is burning bridges with the person that matters the most – not us fans who are just toothless bulldogs – but the coach who chose to stick with him despite a barage of criticisms.

    He should take a leaf from Uzoho books. By the special grace of God he will be in post in world cup qualifiers. Anyone not happy with this can flip sides to support Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

    • Ikeben 6 months ago

      Well said bro. Nigerian fans should also learn to be patient with the goalkeepers. A striker will miss 3 chances and score one. We will forget all his misses and celebrate the one he scores especially when we win the match. But a Goalkeeper will make 5 very good save and miss one or make one mistake that results in a goal, We will forget all the good saves and crucify him on the mistake. We need to be patient with them.
      But I want Pisero to behave like Rohr who chose only active Goalkeepers no matter the league.
      He chose Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Uzoho and later Okoye. But they where all playing regularly when they were selected.

    • I hear you Ikeben. It will be too risky to try new hands in crucial world cup qualifiers. Uzoho is now skating on thin ice. Any more mistakes from him in these 2 matches could now prove costly for him.

      So, one can only pray that he has put in the extra training shifts required to address his shortcomings.

      Barring injury I expect to see him in post. The confidence investment placed in him by Peseiro and Eguavoen before that should see him raise the level of his performance.

      Let’s face it, Peseiro’s patience with Uzoho is not infinite. I think it is even wearing thin but fans don’t know it.

      Leading up to the 2018 World Cup, Rohr rode against the tide and tirade of fans to stick with Akpeyi until that unfortunate miscommunication against Argentina sealed Akpeyi’s fate.

      With Okoye seemingly uninterested in fighting for his place and Adeleye having no place in the in the team, it will be interesting to see who will take over if Uzoho’s blunders become too hot for Peseiro to handle.

  • pompei 6 months ago

    On the other hand, it’s nothing personal. IT’S NEVER PERSONAL.
    Okoye, Uzoho, and Akpeyi are fine gentlemen. Very likeable guys.
    But no matter how likeable a chef is, if my man can’t cook, he has no business in the kitchen.
    Even worse, if his avoidable errors burns down the kitchen and reduces it to a heap of ashes?
    Because of goalkeeping howlers, we have lost or drawn matches we should have won, we have been eliminated from the Afcon, and even eliminated from the world cup!!!
    Our goalkeepers should pity SE fans na. Fans have suffered very much indeed!
    The bottom line. Fans just need to be able to TRUST the person between the sticks.
    An error prone, jittery goalkeeper can land a fan in the hospital with elevated BP and other complications. It’s not pleasant from a fan’s perspective to watch your team concede cheap goals, or lose a match because of avoidable goalkeeping errors. It’s a real nightmare. Our goalkeepers need to bear that in mind.
    Whoever the coach selects has our support. The fans just need to see CONFIDENT, COMPETENT GOALKEEPING. It’s non negotiable.

  • Ayphillydegreat 6 months ago

    Starting IX according to sources. Based on the last training 

    Uzoho – Aina, Semi, Bassey, Bruno – Onyeka, Iwobi – Iheanaco, Lookman, Boniface, Awoniyi.

    Let’s go boys. Ati Fọlọhun ṣọle. 

  • Ikeben 6 months ago

    Looks good.

  • pompei 6 months ago

    Even if the goalie makes a thousand saves, if one school boy error costs us a world cup ticket, fans will remember that big time. It’s human nature. Unpleasant experiences are remembered with more intensity than pleasant experiences.
    Our goalies need to man up and sit up.
    The defenders should also try to protect the goalie. Some goals the goalie concedes are the result of shoddy defending.
    If a goalie does well but concedes goals, nobody will complain. Enyeama conceded lots of goals, yet he was loved by fans, because he had earned their trust.

  • Ako Amadi 6 months ago

    Passport Problem? How can an athlete representing Nigeria have a problem with passport? Are there illiterates at the NGF and Sports Ministry?

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