By James Agberebi:
Nigeria youngster, Kelechi Iheanacho, has been left of Manchester City’s A list for this season’s group stage of the UEFA Champions League, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
In the list of names submitted to UEFA, usual suspects like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling, all made the cut, while Iheanacho’s name was missing.
However, Iheanacho’s exclusion from the A list is understandable as he is U-21 and UEFA laws allow clubs to have a B list, which is for players born on or after 1 January 1994.
Clubs are allowed to to register as many B list players as they want during the season, but the list must be submitted by no later than midnight the before any matchday the U-21 player is to be registered for.
Based on this rule and Iheanacho’s age, the Nigerian youngster could be registered a day before a Champions League clash despite not being on the A list.
However, there is a condition Iheanacho may not meet. According to uefa.com, any player on the B list must have been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA.
Iheanacho only started playing for City last year. Although he joined the club after the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013, work permit and clearance issues were not immediately resolved.
Manchester City are in Group D in the group stages of this season’s UEFA Champions League and will face Juventus, Sevilla and Monchengladbach.
Meanwhile, other Nigerian players who are expected to be involved in this season’s UEFA Champions League include Ahmed Musa (CSKA), Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Moses Simon (Gent) and Brown Ideye (Olympiacos).
Musa’s CSKA, are in Group B along with Manchester United, PSV and Wolfsburg. Group G has Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kyiv and Maccabi Tel Aviv. In Group H, Gent will slug it out with Zenit, Valencia and Lyon. It will be Ideye’s new team, Olympiacos, facing Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb in Group F.