Standard Liege have invoked Fifa’s rules on release of players for national association representative matches, and have decided not to sanction Imoh Ezekiel’s trip to Africa for the All Africa Games qualifier against Gabon.
Standard Liege have a league match against Waasland-Beveren next Friday, and the higher – ups at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne have ruled that the game should take priority over Nigeria’s tie in Libreville.
”Imoh Ezekiel is not going to come for the game. I have spoken to Standard Liege’s sporting director and the team manager, who is my good friend, they said they won’t release him,” Liameed Olawale Gafar, chairman of 36 Lion, told SL10.ng.
”He was loaned to Standard Liege for the rest of the season, every game is important to them.
”They want to qualify for the Champions League and win the league, and that’s why they want Imoh excused. They said Nigeria should please forgive them.”
Though Imoh Ezekiel is eager to make his competitive debut for the Nigeria Under 23s, he is aware that his hands are tied , and he cannot influence the decision of Standard Liege.
”They boy is not happy because he is eager to play for his country, but it is not a Fifa free window.
”He hopes to continue doing well to get another chance with the national team in future,” Liameed Olawale Gafar added.
Imoh Ezekiel made his international debut for the Super Eagles in a pre-World Cup friendly against Mexico last February.