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Italian club side, Napoli have moved to stop striker, Victor Osimhen from representing Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Cameroon reportedly due to their decision to ensure that his collar bone injury heals properly.
The 2021 AFCON begins on January 9 and ends on February 6, 2022.
According to Football Italia, Osimhen spent the Christmas break in Nigeria, but he’s expected to return to Naples on Friday for a medical check after a cheekbone surgery he underwent at the end of November.
The report added that the 23-year-old may not be allowed to play against Juventus on January 6 and even in the AFCON, adding that ‘it will be Nigeria’s responsibility to consider the player available for the tournament in Cameroon.’
Osimhen’s hope of playing in Nigeria’s opening AFCON clash against Egypt on January 11 is hanging in the balance as his club’s doctor has said he is not yet fit for action.
Napoli ruled Osimhen out of action for three months, but the former Lille star said last week that he would be available to play for Nigeria at AFCON.
Nigeria’s training retreat starts today and it is still unclear whether or not Osimhen will join his Super Eagles’ teammates for the first training session before the tournament starts.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that Osimhen’s upcoming medical check-in Naples is crucial to assess his injury Gianpaolo Tartaro, the doctor who performed his surgery last month, said, ‘It takes from 60 to 90 days for the bone callus formation unless there is a biological Christmas miracle.’
Meanwhile, the Interim coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Augustine Eguavoen has admitted he is worried due to the fact that a majority of European clubs don’t want to release players for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), on time.
Africa Daily News, New York recalls that a number of managers of top European clubs with African players have recently criticised the timing of AFCON, even as the fourth wave of COVID-19 creating more fears.
Eguavoen, who replaced Gernot Rohr as coach of Nigeria national team, said he is worried because he has a list and if he doesn’t release it, then it will be difficult for him to put a team together before the AFCON kick-offs on January 9.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK