Nigeria’s Super Eagle Will Not Be In Gabon
Nigeria boast one of the strongest current national teams in Africa, but will not be among the 16 countries challenging for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title from Saturday.
The 'Super Eagles' were much less formidable early last year and taking only one point of a possible six against Egypt condemned them to second place in a qualifying group.
Ordinarily, Nigeria could have squeezed through as one of the best two runners-up, but the withdrawal of Chad reduced the section to three sides and that option fell away.
It was the third time in the past four Cup of Nations qualifying campaigns that the three-time African champions failed to make the finals.
Officials reacted to the Cup of Nations debacle under local coaches Sunday Oliseh and Samson Siasia by hiring German Gernot Rohr.
The transformation was dramatic as Nigeria won away to Zambia and at home to Algeria to open a four-point lead in a 2018 World Cup qualifying group that also includes Cameroon.
AFP Sport selects five notable absentees from the 2017 Cup of Nations, which kicks off on January 14 in Libreville with a match between Gabon and debutants Guinea-Bissau.
Source: Super Sport