Super Eagles goalkeepers’ trainer Ike Shorunmu has dismissed insinuations that Maduka Okoye is no longer interested in pulling on the famous green and white colours of Nigeria, adding the national team doors are very much open to the newly-signed Watford goaltender.
Okoye has missed six straight Super Eagles matches as he suffered backlash from the fans after he inadvertently conceded the solitary goal in the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 defeat to Tunisia in Cameroon in February.
Though COVID-19 reportedly kept him away from featuring in the decisive Qatar 2022 World Cup African zone play-off against Ghana, there are speculations that Okoye is no longer willing to feature for the Super Eagles.
“ What he said was that he wanted to concentrate on his club at the moment,” Shorunmu, the Super Eagles goalkeeper to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea & Japan, told Brila FM. “ You can’t force him (to play for the Super Eagles) since we can equally give other chances too.
“ But he is still part of the team and it is now left to him when he wants to join the team, “ he added.
Incidentally, a staff in the media department of i Football Federation(NFF) Ayo Ibidapo has reportedly hinted that Okoye is open to play again for the country.
“He’s available for selection for the next set of games,” Ibidapo told ScoreNigeria.com. “Not true Maduka Okoye has ignored attempts by coach Jose Peseiro and his technical crew to reach out to him.
“Contrary to reports, Okoye has been speaking with Super Eagles team administrator Dayo Enebi and wondered where such emanated from.”