Nigeria vs South Africa, Benin: Super Eagles’ Osimhen Missing in Action, Replaced

Nigeria vs South Africa, Benin: Super Eagles’ Osimhen Missing in Action, Replaced

  • Mixed reactions have trailed the news that star striker Victor Osimhen will miss the Super Eagles' 2026 World Cup qualifying matches next month
  • The Nigeria Football Federation confirmed Osimhen’s absence on Tuesday and announced that Enugu Rangers defender Kenneth Igboke will replace him in the squad
  • The Napoli forward, who was part of the Nigeria side that lost this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final to Ivory Coast, has been ruled out for at least four weeks due to injury journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that Napoli striker Victor Osimhen will miss Nigeria’s two upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers due to injury.

2026 World Cup qualifiers: NFF rule out Osimhen, replaces him
Igboke replaces Osimhen in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Photo credit: @victorosimhen9, @thenff
Source: Twitter

The NFF announced the update on their official X handle on Tuesday, May 28, stating that Enugu Rangers’ Kenneth Igboke has been called up to replace the injured Osimhen.

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The federation gave no details about the injury but said the 25-year-old would be out for four weeks.

PAY ATTENTION: Share your outstanding story with our editors! Please reach us through! reported that Nigeria will face South Africa and Benin in the FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers later in June.

Super Eagles coach Finidi George recently named a 23-man squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers and Osimhen was among the top stars invited for the fixtures.

According to the NFF, Osimhen will miss the matches against South Africa in Uyo on June 7 and Benin in neutral Ivory Coast three days later.

NFF tweeted:

"Eagles Camp update: 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. #soarsupereagles."

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Nigerians react as Victor Osimhen is replaced

Nigerians took to the comment section on X and queried the NFF for replacing Victor Osimhen with Kenneth Igboke. captured some of their reactions below.

@adekanye52 tweeted:

"A defender to replace a striker?"

@waitingup4u68 tweeted

"Replacing our top striker with a defender…We have other strikers that can replace injured Victor Osimhen….Cyriel Dessers, Peter Olayinka, Philip Otele, Gift Orban, Taiwo Awoniyi, Chuba Akpom."

@josef_imma tweeted:

"If he likes let him invite Uzoho for Osimhen, all we want is 6 points."
"He used Cyriel Dessers in our last friendlies why not invite him or other strikers, he's the coach he knows the best."

What Super Eagles coach needs to do to succeed

Meanwhile, reported that a member of the Fédération Internationale de football association (FIFA) football stakeholder committee, Shehu Dikko, hailed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for appointing Finidi George as the permanent Super Eagles' head coach.

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Esther Odili avatar

Esther Odili (Politics and Current Affairs Editor) Esther Odili is a journalist and a Politics/Current Affairs Editor at with 6+ years of experience. Before joining, Esther has worked with other reputable media houses, such as the New Telegraph newspaper and Galaxy Television. She Holds OND and HND in Mass Communication from NIJ, where she was recognized as the best student in print journalism in 2018. Email:

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