Onazi almost played against Algeria despite FIFA warning

Nigeria and Trabzonspor midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi almost defied his double yellow cards status to star for Nigeria against Algeria in their last World Cup qualifier. The midfielder was called up for the game despite a notice from FIFA that he already had accumulated cards against his name, Nigerian media highlighted on Sunday.

Reports indicate that Onazi would have been at the centre of yet another blunder and hammer from FIFA had he not withdrawn from the game. The player withdrew on account of injury.

A source said to be credible s at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stated that FIFA had also warned that the Eagles vice-captain was ineligible for the November 10 game which FIFA eventually sanctioned Nigeria for fielding Shehu Abdullahi who had two yellow cards before the game.

The NFF officials are now heaving a sigh of relief, knowing it would have been a case of double disgrace for the country, had Onazi not withdrawn after he had been officially invited for the fixture by the coach, Gernot Rohr.

Another official confirmed that Onazi was the second Eagles player FIFA warned was ineligible for the Algeria match.

The official said, “Shehu Abdullahi and Ogenyi Onazi were the two players FIFA warned were ineligible for the Algeria match a month to the game.”

The Nigerian and Algerian FA are already separately investigating how the teams were able to play without any of those meant to know Shehu was ineligible alerting anyone.