By Albert Akota
Super Eagles have been dealt another blow ahead of Sunday’s friendly against five-time world champions Brazil as defender Ola Aina has been ruled out after suffering an injury in a domestic accident.
“Just in: Torino of Italy wing-back Ola Aina is out of Sunday’s international friendly against Brazil. He picked up an injury after a domestic accident and will not be available.” the official Twitter handle of the national team tweeted on Wednesday.
Aina becomes the second defender to pull out of the Brazil friendly following the earlier withdrawal of Kenneth Omeruo, also due to injury.
While Omeruo has since been replaced by Tyronne Ebuehi, it is not clear whether a late replacement will also be named for Mr Aina.
Nigeria will play Brazil at the Singapore National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore on Sunday, 13th October, 23 years after Nigeria, defeated the Selecao as the Brazilian team is nicknamed, on their way to winning Africa’s first Olympic football gold in the State of Georgia, USA.
Efforts to match the two teams in a friendly after that spectacular game have been unsuccessful until the organizers of the 8th All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 2003 flew the Brazilians to Abuja in June of that year. Brazil won 3-0.
There has been no competitive tie between both countries’ senior teams since that memorable U23 match in Georgia.
Nigeria is building a new team after a rash of retirements and injuries to key players.
That new breed came close to shocking Ukraine in a friendly match in Dnipro in September before bungling a two-goal lead for 2-2 stalemate.
Singaporean Jansen Foo has been appointed as the referee for Sunday’s game.
Foo will be assisted by compatriots Abdul Hannan (assistant referee 1), Ong Chai Lee (assistant referee 2) and G. Letchman (fourth official).