Nigeria youth international Taiwo Awoniyi will miss the opening game of the U23 AFCON against Cote d’Ivoire on November 9 after his German club, Mainz 05, insisted he will only be released during the FIFA window as the tournament is not in the international calendar.
The on-loan Liverpool forward will therefore be available for the subsequent Group B matches against South Africa and Zambia.
Awoniyi told NationSport that he was absent at the Olympic Eagles’ camping in Abuja but he would join the team in Egypt after Mainz 05’s game against Union Berlin on Saturday, the same day the Olympic Eagles begin their campaign to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
He said: “They (Mainz 05) will only allow me to leave during the international break. I will join the team (Olympic Eagles) in Egypt after our last game on November 9.
“I wanted to join the team early but the club said I can only go on November 10. That is why I could not make it to Nigeria for the training camp.”
Awoniyi was an unused substitute during their 8-0 defeat at RasenBallsport Leipzig on Saturday.
Nigeria U-23 skipper Azubuike Okechukwu would also miss the Cote d’Ivoire opener as his Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir also refused to release him until the International break.