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2026 World Cup Qualifiers: NPFL Player Replaces Injured Victor Osimhen




Super Eagles talisman, Victor Osimhen has been ruled out of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers matches scheduled for June 2024 due to an injury.

Victor Osimhen gave football enthusiasts in Nigeria hope that he would be available for the must-win 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa on June 7 and against Benin Republic on June 10 when he played Napoli’s last game of the season on Sunday, May 26.

During the game which was against Leece, coach Francesco Calzona decided to bring on Osimhen in the 65th minute but he couldn’t score for his team as the game ended in a barren draw.

Since he was named in coach Finidi George’s Super Eagles squad for the qualifiers, he was expected to fly into Nigeria this week in preparation for the game against South Africa in Uyo. But that won’t happen.

The official Instagram page of the Super Eagles announced earlier today, May 28, that the 25-year-old striker suffered an injury which will sideline him for four weeks.

Hence, coach Finidi has decided to replace Osimhen with Kenneth Igboke who plays as a left-back for Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) table-toppers Enugu Rangers.

A statement from the national team camp reads: “Africa Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen is injured and out for 4 weeks. Super Eagles’ Coach Finidi George has called up Enugu Rangers’ left back Kenneth Igboke for the WC qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Rep.”

Note that third-placed Super Eagles are expected to beat South Africa who are currently placed second in Group C of the qualifiers to stand a better chance of qualifying for the World Cup. After the game which will kick off at 8 pm on June 7, the Super Eagles will fly to Abidjan to take on Benin Republic.