Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was treated to a surprise sending-off by his South African side Chippa United on Sunday morning.
Akpeyi, 31, had a good season with the modest Premier Soccer League side, making twenty three appearances in all competitions as Chippa finished tenth at the end of the 2017/18 league season.
The former Warri Wolves goalkeeper was last Monday named in Nigeria’s 30-man provisional list ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia which gets underway in the European nation on the 14th of next month.
Akpeyi was sent off at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Sunday by Chippa United fans in their tens carrying inscriptions such as “Akpeyi our Goalie” “We are behind Akpeyi. CHILLI BOY. Team Africa” and “Go Well Chilli Boy AKPEYI”.
Also on hand at the airport to see Akpeyi off were members of the Chippa United management staff who were there to provide solidarity to their first choice goalkeeper.
Nigeria’s World Cup camp will open in the Southern Nigerian city of Uyo on Monday and Akpeyi is expected to make the final 23-man squad when it is released in early June.
Akpeyi has represented Nigeria at Under-20 World Youth Championship and Olympics level. If selected, Russia 2018 will be his first appearance at the Mundial.