Nigeria starlet Kelechi Iheanacho will not feature in this season’s UEFA Champions League after h...
Nigeria starlet Kelechi Iheanacho will not feature in this season’s UEFA Champions League after he was left out by Manchester City from their 25-man squad.
UEFA limit the foreign players in a squad to 17 and with the arrival of Belgium international Kevin de Bruyne and Argentina’s Nicolas Otamendi, Iheanacho had to make way.
The English Premier League has similar rules, but they are more relaxed, allowing any number of players aged under 21 to be added to the 25-man squad.
UEFA's rule is more strict, stipulating that an under-21 player must have been at the club for two consecutive years before they become a “free” addition to the squad.
Iheanacho finally joined the club in February after working through a long-winded work permit process, meaning he will not qualify as an under-21 player until February 2017, when he will be 20.
However, there was better luck for Iheanacho’s compatriots Mikel Obi at Chelsea and Ahmed Musa at CSKA Moscow as both made the final squads of their respective clubs for the Champions League.
Six players of Nigerian descent have been given a chance to represent their respective teams when the group stage of the competition begins after the international break.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel had no problems being named to the English champions roster and he will be hoping to add to his 61 appearances for the Londoners in Europe when they begin their campaign.
Austria international David Alaba and Nosa Igiebor will turn out for Bayern Munich and Maccabi Tel Aviv respectively. Between them, they have played 61 matches in Europe.
Nigeria internationals Brown Ideye (Olympiakos), Moses Simon (Gent) and Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow) all made the squad lists submitted by their clubs.
Ex West Brom striker Ideye will wear the number 99 shirt during the competition.