Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed that the decision to represent the country at this year’s AFCON U-23 Championship in Egypt is beyond his control, even as he remains optimistic, reports.


Awoniyi’s assertion comes 24 hours after team captain and inspirational midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu confirmed his unavailability to, with the Dream Team handlers needing to reshuffle their selection ahead of the tournament in November.


Speaking to, the Mainz 05 forward who is a pivotal member of the Dream Team VII stated that he, however, hopes to convince the club’s directors just as he did during his days at Frankfurt in 2015.


“We won the last one in Senegal. I had to have a tough discussion with our club director then in 2015 and I was allowed to go. But on this, I will still do my best but the decision is not on me,” Awoniyi revealed.


In 2015, the then 18-year-old led the line for the Samson Siasia tutored boys as they won Nigeria’s maiden U-23 AFCON in Senegal but missed out on the Olympic Games where the Dream Team went on to clinch a bronze medal at the football event.