Rangers to hold talks with Nigerian FA over key players availability
Photo by DANIEL BELOUMOU OLOMO/AFP via Getty Images

Rangers to hold talks with Nigerian FA over key players availability

Rangers will look to hold talks with the Nigerian FA regarding the availability of three players for the Old Firm clash on January 2 amid current FIFA regulations.

Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey, and Leon Balogun will all be looking to feature for Nigeria in the upcoming African Cup of Nations which takes place from January 9 to February 6 and Rangers have four fixtures in that time.

Joe Aribo is one of Rangers’ key players as the Ibrox side will look to hold talks with the Nigerian FA over key player’s availability for the upcoming Old Firm tie. FIFA state that all players need to be released by their clubs on December the 27th. (Photo by ADAM JASTRZEBOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers Sporting Director Ross Wilson could work his magic and convince the Nigerian FA and manager Gernot Rohr to possibly allow the three players to join up with the squad after the tie against Celtic.

Aribo, Bassey, and Balogun have arguably been three of our most consistent performers this season, and losing them for a potentially season-defining tie would be a massive blow to the Ibrox side.

With the Super Eagles’ first match against Egypt a week after the Old Firm tie, Wilson could perhaps persuade the Nigerian FA into releasing the players later than FIFA regulations state.

The tournament has already been postponed twice and with rising concerns over the new Omicron variant, player safety is being seen as paramount with many clubs seeking talks with FIFA.

The competition is usually held between January and February which are obviously important months in the domestic footballing calendar, and this is really the first time Rangers could be seriously hampered by losing key players.

Rangers Sporting Director Ross Wilson will be aiming to hold talks with the Nigerian FA in regards to Nigeria calling up Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey, and Leon Balgon before the Old Firm clash. FIFA regulations stipulate clubs should release players on the 27th of December. (Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images)

The stance may have been different if the side weren’t playing our title rivals, I’m sure the Sporting Director will be able to present a case to the Nigerian FA which will allow the players to feature on January 2 and join up with Nigeria after.

Meanwhile, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is looking ahead to the next match against Hearts by stating that Rangers will be ready.