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Why I was not invited for South Africa match- Troost-Ekong

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William Troost-Ekong has admitted that he did everything possible to be named in the Super Eagles squad for the 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and Benin’s Cheetahs.

New Nigeria boss Finidi George has omitted the PAOK central defender from the list of twenty-three players summoned for the internationals in June due to fitness issues.

You have to go back to February 11, 2024 to find the last time Troost-Ekong last featured in a competitive game for club and country, against Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations showpiece.

Troost-Ekong played through the pain barrier during the tournament in Ivory Coast and required surgery after returning to Europe following the Africa Cup of Nations, where he was named as Player of the Tournament.

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The 30-year-old has vowed to be at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo next Friday to support the Super Eagles in their matchday three World Cup qualifying fixture against Bafana Bafana.

“Very important game. We all know we want to be in the 2026 World Cup. Coach Finidi is coming now, has been appointed which I think everyone’s very happy about – someone who understands Nigerian football. He’s been our assistant coach and deserved this shot now to be the head coach,” Troost-Ekong told Arise News.

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“I’m back fit now since two weeks but just missing some match fitness. I have personally been working on trying to get fit to give the coach possibility to have me there.

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“Regarding the team, I will be there in Uyo as well when they arrive. Some of the players are coming to support the charity game and I’ll try and hang around for the match to try and give them moral support, and try and do my best to share some of my experiences with some of the younger players.

“These are definitely key games against South Africa and Benin for us to get a ticket towards the World Cup in 2026.”

Troost-Ekong has yet to feature in the World Cup qualifiers as he was out of favour in November last year when Nigeria took on Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

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