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2026 WCQ: Olawoyin Replaces Tella In Super Eagles’s Squad

2026 WCQ: Olawoyin Replaces Tella In Super Eagles’s Squad

Ibrahim Olawoyin has been called up as a replacement for Nathan Tella in Nigeria’s squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Head coach Finidi George extended invitation to the Caykur Rizespor player after Tella pulled out of the squad.

Tella, who plays for Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen excused himself from the upcoming World Cup qualifiers due to family reasons.

“WCQ Camp Update: Nathan Tella of Bayer Leverkusen has excused himself from the upcoming WCQ matches due to family reasons. Coach Finidi George has now called up Ibrahim Olawoyin of Caykur Rizespor of Turkey,” reads a statement on the Super Eagles’ X account.

Read Also: 2026 WCQ: South Africa Coach Unveils 23-Man Squad For Super Eagles Clash

Olawoyin was one of the standout performers for Rizespor in the Turkish Super Lig in the 2023/24 season.

The 26-year-old scored eight goals in 36 league appearances for Rizespor during the campaign.

The talented winger joined the club from
Turkish second division outfit Ankara Keciorengucu in January 2023.

Rangers defender, Kenneth Igboke was also called as a replacement for injured Victor Osimhen this week.

The Super Eagles will keep a date with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo next week Friday.

The three-time African will be guests of Squirrels of Benin at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan three days later.

The West Africans are winless in Group C after drawing their opening two games against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 54
  • MONKEY POST 2 weeks ago

    Na wa o! SUPER EAGLES is FINISHED!! What is all these STRANGE STRANGE NAMES from all these STRANGE STRANGE FOOTBALL CLUBS…

    Which one is OLAWOYIN again abi na EWAGOYIN…

    Una ready to clinch this wc ticket so??

    • MONKEY POST 2 weeks ago

      So in other words they want to sacrifice our world cup ticket for the brown envelope…

      Na wa o…

      Dem think say na Lesotho we dey play???

  • Onwajunior 2 weeks ago

    Lol…as expected, local coaches means agents are back in business..slots for sale to the highest bidders.

    • MONKEY POST 2 weeks ago

      So in other words they want to sacrifice our world cup ticket for the brown envelope…

      Na wa o…

      Dem think say na Lesotho we dey play???

  • There would have been more POMP and pageantry had Joseph Atule been called up as replacement. 😉

    • MONKEY POST 2 weeks ago

      Nawa o oga deo them dey talk say fire burn father, you dey ask whether e burn him bia bia…which one be joseph aturu again???

      • I had actually expected Godwin Obaje of Enugu Rangers to replace Tella but Obaje will have his time in future.

    • Deo, I see ya hand work.
      Pomp for full every where if they invited our man of the moment, Jay Jay Atule.
      I for pop champagne join.
      As for Godwin Obaje, that name ehn, o lagbara. Obaje ke? konibaje lagbara Olorun ooo. Keep working hard, your time will come!

  • DANIEL AMOKACHI AT WORK LOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!.. Nigerians must feel this and I am happy as from hence forth until this scam artist FINIDI and Amokachi are far from Super Eagles, Amokachi is a Season player Horder, I said it that is what we will become. Upon all the players we have in Europe, Ejuke, Orban, Awoniyi and co this is the best Finidi can come up with.. And Nigerian Outlets are throwing Olise Name up and down now the same Media outlets that deluded themselves to think an Indigenous coach worse one from class of 94 will come and follow that lead up Looooolllll.. Nigerians shoot themselves in the foot without even knowing it hahahahahahahah it is so funny to watch lol!

    Oya @deo come and tell us why we should look forward to this guy in your usual inlightened way hehehehehehehehe!!!.

    UNA GO HEAR AM WITH YOUR INDIGENOUS COACH LOOOOOOOL!!!!!1

    • Ugo, it gets better.

      This one will really delight you, Pompei and Xtian Ministry of Nigeria. The rumour mill has it that enterprising winger suleman sani of Akwa United is set to replace Samuel Chukwueze if the AC Milan man fails a late fitness test.

      Sani is Pompei’s type of player who is can use both feet, something Pompei has always criticized Chukwueze of lacking. Be careful what you wish for, eh! hahahaha!

    • Jide Dola 2 weeks ago

      Na so nna dey rave about Ejuke. All those school boy players.

      I don’t know if this team cam still go for winning, what we have on our 23 man-list now is far from a team, while DA has better compatibility. Injury want to finish this team.

  • The Minute Finidi replaced Osimhen with an Unmerrited player the universe will oblige and give them what they want, a mediocre team. I will always say Good fortune does not favour Criminality. It is clear Finidi’s Intentions are Monetary. Na siddon Look we day here oooo….

    Nigerians you have your indigenous Coach. Tella has pulled out why?. let me tell you why Tella is a Nigerian who is informed with Nigerian Players and is friends with some of them like Awoniyi, Orban and Especially Ejuke whom his Team Mate Boniface is Very close too and they travel to Belgium to link up or Germany and Tella must be at some of those link ups. tell me How do you explain to tella that Igbokwe deserves a place before Awoniyi or Orban or Ejuke in SE? tell me bros?.. So Tella know’s with One Cap he is still eligible for England and with Finidi’s treatment of him the last friendlies against Ghana and Mali Respectively and his Dodgy Replacement call ups?. If you were Tella with only 1 cap to your name for Nigeria and your trajectory in Club football as well as being eligible to play for England with UCL next season what do you think Tella is pulling out for. When I warned Nigerians Tella is still eligible to play for England Finidi better shape up did they listen.

    NIGERIANS your will have your wish, A team full of Home based and No International Big name players. They want to play with our Golden Generation right, Put a 94 class member wh does not want the current generation to out do what they achieved a measly round of 16 in 94 WC to spear head a team of talents. Well Na Siddon Look we day ooo LOOL!!!!!

    REPLY

    • What is the meaning in this your whole write up?????

      Even without Tella, Boniface , Lookman, etc Nigerian players with patriotic heart and humility can still beat South Africa and Benin Republic.

      You people should allow the coach to do his job.

      Indigenous coaches this and that, where is the dollar to pay a foreign coach in Nigeria with this kind of economy in Nigeria?

      Have you entered market to price common cup of garri and rice in Nigeria of recent?

      Will you people have paid the foreign coach from your pocket?

      Leave Finidi alone if he likes let him fail if he likes let him succeed
      You think Finidi won’t like to make name like Keshi too? Or he doesn’t like making history?

      Who tells you that best club performance always translates to national team performance?

      France did well in last world cup reaching finals without their Ballon d’or Benzema so if those European top players like to boycott the game because of Finidi Nigeria will still continue.

      • yabaoh M 2 weeks ago

        @amadi johnsone jacob – dis guy yuh don reach here again? how mush dem pay yuh sef wey yuh nor wan rest? She na CSN you dey work for ne? abi na one of dose stooges from NFF?
        Abi yuh tink se pipo nor no wetin yur agenda be? Ewu of no nation. thunder fiah yur nyash ther!

      • Big Boss 2 weeks ago

        You are very crazy!

        • yabaoh M 2 weeks ago

          okay is yuh dem send come dis time arand abi? ehn oya go back and told dem that you miss road becuase you are a road missing mugu – how mush una dey share sef abi yuh be amadi johnson jacob as well lolz haba yuh pipo ehn? mtshceww – arindi rada rada, monkey of no natoins, see yur nyash as he red for outside ehn? you go chop correct slap with your other tief friend quietly an if yuh be the same agbero dey open al dis accnt den you go chop slap like 4 times na no long tins – mumu!

      • Jide Dola 2 weeks ago

        Mumu they are using you to run the nation and they’re enjoy on their own part. So, if this is a sacrifice to keep the nation running why has legislator and presidency cut their allowance to half. You think when you’re talking about sacrifice to keep the nation running it supposed to come from only the masses.

        You’re one of the reason this people are still taking advantage of the masses. This is a very gullible thought.

        Incase you don’t know, this government has made a lot of money through masses in the name of they want to do projects. Let’s wait and see how many of those projects we are going to see. They have been promising refinery for how long now. And let see how much of those fund we be redirected into another acc.

        So, stop saying federal government do not have money, federal government is not individual

    • 9jaRealist 2 weeks ago

      @Ugo Iwunze, for starters it’s Igboke and NOT Igbokwe…

      Unfortunately, this sort of ignorance (in the literal, not pejorative, sense) pervades much of your post. Igboke is a FB/WB, and thus not in competition for places with Awoniyi, Ejuke or Orban.

      Meanwhile, with due respect to each of them, exactly how many games have Awoniyi, Orban, or Ejuke play this season? Ejuke was NOT even in either starting line-up nor on the bench for their last game and thus is either injured or deemed surplus.

      PS: With all due respect also to Tella, he is NOT going to play for England.

  • Chima E Samuels 2 weeks ago

    Followers of Turkish league will affirm that this guy deserves a call up if Tella pulled out of the team. Chidera Ejuke who had a decent influence at Royal Antwerp could also be another option. Please let’s see facts before we start calling these guys names. Amokachi is a bad guy but I don’t think he’s had any influence at this early stage.

    • yabaoh M 2 weeks ago

      Sharaap ther! metchionu gi! Ewu. people are talking and ewu like yuh stil will want to talk. thunder fiah yu ther triblatic nonnsence!

      • Chima E Samuels 2 weeks ago

        Selfmade idiot I know your signature. Ghanaians have the lowest iQ in west Africa so I know your plight. Sorry eh!!!

  • Sunkaino 2 weeks ago

    Nah real wah, Naija must complain. Ejuke plays outside left, Awoniyi is a box player, how can any of this replace outside right player (Tella). We seem to have forgotten hw Sunday Mba an unknown player won the nations cup for us.

    • Chima E Samuels 2 weeks ago

      He is an Engine room. Now Nigeria has another creative gem aside Iwobi and previously Aribo. He can also operate in every attacking area upfront. Finidi got this absolutely right. He will even get better and play for a solid top side. My only pain is that they might bench him until only God knows. What an upcoming player. He has deft touches that unlocks the best of defences and he can create moments. He doesn’t fear duels and he attacks tight spaces. He will compliment Iwobi, playing alongside equally excellent SE players will only mature him into a greater player. I am interested in this Gem!!!!

    • Chima E Samuels 2 weeks ago

      This guy plus Iwobi will create a new philosophy in the SE. He knows how to create chances he attacks more than defence. There’s a reason why he is given a 10 and that’s because he initiates attacking play, in the past season he has the teams highest goal contribution for his team that is a top 10 Turkish team. He deserves his place there is no corruption here. He is only 26years old and will only get good for the next 5 years.

  • JimmyBall 2 weeks ago

    The question I have to ask is this… why are the people in NFF and Finidi not inviting Chuba Akpom? That guy has shown himself to be very profiling… I think it’s because maybe he does not know that even if he is very good he has to part with money for invites… that’s the game most of those new invites play. If Tella has checked out… I will want to believe someone who can equally play on the wings can be summoned… why are we having Olawoyin a midfielder in place of a Tella a winger? There is more to the Super Eagles than we will ever understand. But if Tella who isn’t a regular in Eagles yet is already beginning to shun matches(though that may not be the case)… I hope he is not about to start casting doubts about his commitment to the Super Eagles and Nigeria?

    • Respect is reciprocal 2 weeks ago

      @Jimmy honestly i felt same way that who is this Tella for him to ignore Nigeria because of family ties. Why couldn’t he ignored playing in Europa final to attend to family issues ? Or is there something we don’t understand in the way he was treated in last match that made him to do this ? Whatever the case maybe I think this will come to hurt him in future. He doesn’t seem to be passionate about Nigeria.

      • Olayiwola Lawrence 2 weeks ago

        Tella, is not Leo Messi. He can decide to stay away, already forming big player when he is not in class of Messi or Ronaldo.

        • @Olayiwola Lawrence.. is that not what you people said about Saka. Lol hahahahahaha una no go ever learn oya na.. na siddon look we day ooo lol

    • @Jimmy it is simple they have turned SE into Player Trafficking syndicate did I not tell you people the minute Amokachi was assigned as Deputy I already knew their Intentions.

      I have to tell you people I know the Ins and outs of these group of scam artists. They are here to finish work they started in 2013. You think Amokachi cares about Nigeria ball Lol!!!. A guy who rubbish dual nationals yet he has talented Dual National twins he is pushing to play for thier mother land Holland or is it Belguim this is to tell una the guy does not give a damn. AMOKACHI Is as disorganized as the teams he has managed. The guy is only innit to better his pockets and he must be calling the shots behind the scenes Finidi strikes me as too Timid to control that Agbero Amokachi. Oya make una insult me na. Shebbi only time will tell. Oya I day here day wait oo lol

      • Kenneth 2 weeks ago

        Please we not interested in all the lies you want to peddle here. Your hatred for the ex-players is well taken. Just off your tv Next Friday and Monday in peace. Your fellow crew will brief you after the game. Let us enjoy the game in peace.

        • @Kenneth Lies you say lol

          Chinedu Obasi exposed him and Valere Houdonou about thiers and the late Keshi’s Antics at World Cup 2014 if you remember at the time Obasi was one of the Eyebrow raising exclusions Obasi and Ezekiel Imoh were Due lucrative moves from already good clubs if they made WC’2014 as the Special talent and minimum games for Club requirements for England were introduced same year. so they not making the cut due to Lessor talent getting the nods from Keshi , Amokachi and co affected their career’s do you really think Amokachi gives a damn and the funny thing is NFF know’s all about this. Let me Ask you guys a question in a proper functioning country A coach with all these allegations againt them will they even be considered to get back at the helm of coaching?.. and the fact that some of you are even supporting this shows the engrained problem in our socitey and proves that the problem does not soley lie on the shoulders of the People in charge the civilians should take a significant amount of blame because they support this madness.

          KENNETH do yourself a favour and look what Chinedu Obasi said. That is of course if you even know who Chinedu Obasi is.

          @Kenneth If you don’t know Daniel Amokachi you will very soon. You think i am here to please anybody??. guy I am only here to tell the truth. whether you people care to like it or not.

    • 9jaRealist 2 weeks ago

      @JimmyBall, probably for pretty much the same reason(s) that Gernot Rohr and Jose Peseiro did NOT invite Chuba Akpom – whatever those reasons are.

      Or to employ Ugo Iwunze’s turn of logic, the same way that Rohr and Peseiro turned the SE into a Player Marketing and Trafficking Hub and Syndicate. LOL!

    • Chima E Samuels 2 weeks ago

      Olawonyin is like for like with Tella go and watch his videos. He is even an extra when compare to Tella. Tella will regret this disrespect to Nigeria. I use to like him but he has started creating negative energy. What if the other players bring their own excuses because they all have families that need them as well. Tella you’re too young to be crying yourself like this even Messi was not just thrown into starting eleven at Barca.

  • I hope Finidi knows what he is doing!!!

    Is this guy the best he could find as replacement for Tella??

  • As I always said, Nigerians are the problem of Nigeria. This is what NFF wanted and they got it. They put Finidi there so that they can push him around.

    Although I’m in support of our own but not this way.

    NFF will destroy Super Eagles. Finidi should think about his image first before anything.

    If he gets this wrong, that is it for him.

    I am very sure of one thing, brown envelope will be flying around now but Finidi name is what Nigerians will be calling not Amaju or Gusau and the entire NFF. Finidi should be wise enough to do whatever it takes to get it right.

    As expected, majority of us wants our own to fail so that they can say did I not tell you people but the gaffer shouldn’t allow that to happen.

    I’m not in support of Finidi appointment but the backroom staff he got made me changed my mind but in this scenario, fingers crossed. Good luck to Finidi and his troops. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • 9jaRealist 2 weeks ago

      @Omo9ja, unlike the ‘green envelopes’ that were flying around during Rohr’s and Peseiro’s tenures?! Some Nigerians and their inferiority complex. SMH

      • Ahahahaha. Please don’t let Oga Rohr fans come for you oooooo.

        I am so sure of it kę. Brown envelopes wotowoto here and there lol.

        I won’t be surprised to see our home based player representing us against South Africa and Benin with the additions of few foreign players.

        Money changes hand, that is what NFF good at. Fingers crossed. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • agbo chimezie 2 weeks ago

    Invite this invite that haba,na so they invite striker that scores 30goals but couldn’t score one on one with goalkeeper more than three times, national team is not club football, some Nigeria players are dribbling Europe abinos and score many goals but can’t dribble Africa players, that’s why if you like score hundred goals abroad that won’t make you a better player than other local players that haven’t get the opportunity abroad

    • Abeg help us ask them. A lot of our foreign based played against Lesotho and Zimbabwe. And what happened 1-1 score line. Now a new coach is injecting players he feels can give us the chance to win, you all here questioning his decision. Calling him a businessman, then same can be said of Rorh and paseiro. At least lets see his full competitive match. Abeg if you not ok with his selection, you free to off your TV.

  • Tella suffered against Zimbabwe and does not look like a typical Nigerian winger. He cannot survive NPFL WITH HIS PHYSIQUE AND BALL SENSE. FINITO IS RIGHT AFTERALL. IMHO

  • Golden Child 2 weeks ago

    Olawoyin is a good player and should have been called up in the first instance. He can also pay for the wings.

  • There are a lot of players Finidi could have called to replace Tella and osimhen , Players like Olayinka who is a utility player, Ejuke, Samuel kalu,Umar Sadiq etc all these players had been a part of the team at one point or the other so, it would have been very easy for them to blend. The two upcoming matches are too crucial to be inviting untested players. I am disappointed with the way Finidi is going about his preparations. I sincerely hope he proves me wrong

  • My question to Ugo Iwunze and co what has the gaffer done wrong? Because he didn’t invite the likes of Akpom.Awoniyi.oban.ejuke to replace osimen and tella? Am not a fan of tella if I were to be the super eagles coach I will not select tela ahead of chukwueze,Bayarn Leverkusen is different from super eagles.the inclusion of igboke is acceptable he is doing very well with rangers and he is there to play from the left full back position not as a striker. do you want the gaffer to start with six strikers? Iheanaco.lookman.Boni.moffi onuachu are in the team what will you do with Akpom.oban and awoniyi? Every time una go come here they shout awoniyi awoniyi.dessers football no dey simple as una they think.check Spain squad for euro 2024 they left some big names including Sergio Ramos in Nigeria they will abuse the coach because he snub Leon balogun for Tanzania base defender.stop insulting FINIDI let him do his job.your insulting FINIDI but you’re not doing well in your profession.yes am not here to abuse anybody am only saying the truth.

  • @Smith did I hear you mention Sadiq? my brother many of you don’t know anything about football with the likes of Osimehn.moffi Boniface.Onuachu.lookman.Nacho available Sadiq has no place in the super eagles I rader go for Amed Musa which sadiq.even Olayinka has no place in the super eagles for now.i don’t have anything against them but the truth is that everybody can’t play in a match.

    • @Stan we all saw Onuachu at AFCON the guy gas had chances in SE since 2018 or 2019 what have he achieved yet Dessers for example has done more in SE colours than Onuachu bar the Mali game which is understandable as Finidi got his tactics wrong from the first whistle which knocked the stuffing out of our team by the Time Dessers came onto the pitch and as for Awoniyi the fact that he is fit should make him an Automatic starter ahead of Dessers and Onuachu why you may ask? For 1 Awoniyi has done well when in a SE shirt more than Dessers and Onuachu he is also more Seasoned than Onuachu and has proved himself in tougher leagues than both Dessers and Onuachu not just proved himself but established himself as the best player when fit in both teams in Germany and England… so that is a big mistake already by Finidi. Also Balogun for me is still a better defender than most in that list except my main man and the best Defender in SE for me Calvin Bassey.. so when a player like Balogun shows he still has a lot to offer and went back to Glasgow Rangers and reinstated himself then you can’t overlook that experience remember Onyibo wall well forget Ekong performance at AFCON and Ekong is still one of the best Defender in SE now but Balogun as we all know was the Zuma rock of that wall. So Finidi in my books has already made two critical mistakes with his list. Awoniyi should be a no Brainer straight swap for Osimhen if he is injured infact Awoniyi should already be on that list if fit. I rest my case

      Nigeria always choose the wrong experience

      • JimmyBall 2 weeks ago

        @Ugo Iwunze… Can you please be realistic about Paul Onucahu? That guy has consistently proved himself in Super Eagles. I don’t know why you keep talking unfairly about the guy. He did the job he was asked to do during the nations cup and he got only scanty minutes.

        • @Jimmy I have tried my best to give Paul Onuachu the benefit of the doubt yes he does well in Club and yes he cannot be completely castigated if they are players ahead of him Injured, However SA game and thier Pace and Slippery Nature a Player like Onuachu will really be chasing shadows in that game.

          Awnoyi on the other hand is very fast and you will see that when he is fit for Nottingham Forest I mean one game against Manchester United or Chelsea this season he ran he set up a player in his half and ran the length of the pitch in full speed outpacing the likes of Elanga and co received the pass from the same player and scored in ENgland!!!! Onuachu can not do that.

          Onuachu is too sluggish for South Africa and is the wrong personel to chose to execute such a task.

  • Sadiq and olayinka can play from any position upfront, especially olayinka, then ejuke is very good on the wings the only downside is that he is selfish with his ball. As for Samuel kalu, he is very versatile, I don’t know while he is not a permanent member of the team. To me he is a better winger than both Moses Simon and Samuel chukwueze

    • Samuel Kalu has serious emotional problems. He can go and fall down now on the pitch and cause panic to everyone. Otherwise, he is VERY good.

      • The many mistakes in Finidi’s players invitation.
        Defenders:
        Balogun for Awaziem!!
        better than all the CDs in a combination of performance for Super Eagles, experience and current form. Despite over 4 years in the team, Awaziem is yet to prove he belongs.

        Injured and inactive player invitation..
        Iheanacho played 18mins of his last 4 matches for his EFL club. Chukwueze is yet to prove he is a national team material despite over 4years involvement. Besides, he’s still.injured and has not played a single mins in his club last 4 matches, same as Onyeka.
        No sane coach will select Onuachu and Moffi ahead of Awo under normal circumstances.
        Osi, Awo, Boni, Moffi, and Onuachu all proved their mettle in the Jupiter league but among these only Osi and Awo have so far been able to show-up in two of the top5 leagues creating records. Boni and Moffi are on the same path. But Onuachu failed, he created miserable records of zero goal in EPL.
        Come to national teams, in terms of goal contribution per mins or match involvement for the Super Eagles, Awo has performed better than Onuachu, Moffi, and Boni
        The only striker that can compete with Osi is Awo. Like Osi, he’s got speed, hold-up, skills, and strength. Though Osi is better at nodding.
        We can only pray for the team to win. Finidi is not helping the situation. He had every opportunity to try new players in the last friendly.
        The deserving players in the current list are the GKs, Bassey,Samuel, Ndidi, Lookman (Tested and proven)
        Onyedika, Yusuf (improving)
        Bahiru, Olawoyin z(capable, untested)
        Awaziem, Onuachu, Iwobi, Moffi (unconvincing in recent matches still need to prove after over 4yrs of being in the team).
        No sane coach will select Awaziem and Onuachu ahead of reliable ones like Balogun and
        Awo.

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