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Calvin Bassey plays down concerns about late arrival in camp 


Super Eagles defender Calvin Bassey has voiced his frustration after arriving late to camp for the crucial clash against South Africa in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier.

The Nigerian squad commenced preparations on June 1 for the upcoming match, but Bassey, along with other players, found themselves stranded due to a nationwide strike organized by labour unions.

Bassey, alongside Semi Ajayi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Frank Onyeka, and Paul Onuachu, finally joined the team in Uyo on Tuesday.

They arrived aboard a private jet arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation and were swiftly transported to the team’s base at the Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort to catch up with their teammates in time for lunch.

Addressing the media about the situation, Bassey expressed his frustration, emphasizing the team’s desire to spend more time together.

Despite the setback, he played down concerns about the late arrivals affecting the team’s performance, citing their familiarity with each other and the manager’s understanding of the squad.

“It’s always annoying because we want to spend more time together. International periods can be short, usually ten days to a week, so having the opportunity for two weeks is valuable.

“The manager wants to make the most of that, so it’s a bit frustrating. However, we’ve been together for a long time, and the manager knows each and every one of us well,” Bassey disclosed during a media briefing ahead of the game.

Nigeria is set to face South Africa on June 7 at 8 p.m. before taking on Republic of Benin Republic in Abidjan three days later.

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