Ndidi to miss Nigeria’s World Cup playoffs

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LAGOS, March 21 – Wilfred Ndidi has been ruled out of Nigeria’s World Cup playoff against Ghana through injury in a blow to the side’s chances of winning a place in the finals in Qatar later this year.

Ndidi, 25, was injured playing for Leicester City in the Europa Conference League against Stade Rennes last week, hurting his knee in a tackle and hobbling off.

Nigeria’s football federation said on Monday he would miss their two-legged qualifying playoff against Ghana and was being replaced in the squad by Innocent Bonke.

The 26-year-old midfielder plays for Lorient in Ligue 1 and made his Nigeria debut last September.

Ghana host Nigeria in Kumasi in the first leg of their tie on Friday with the return in Lagos next Tuesday. The aggregate winners qualify as one of Africa’s five representatives for the World Cup in Qatar which starts in November.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Clare Fallon)