Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has tested positive for Covid-19, the Serie A club said on Thursday, while injuries have ruled out defenders Abdullahi Shehu, who plays in Cyprus for AC Omonia, and Glasgow Rangers’ Leon Balogun, according to the AFCON website.
“Health concerns, injuries constrain changes to Nigeria’s final 28-man list for AFCON 2021,” read the NFF’s Instagram post on Friday.
Speaking ahead of Watford’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day, Watford manager Ranieri said that the club had been “ready” to allow Dennis to be selected and suggested that the NFF missed the deadline to call up the forward.
“No [we have not disrespected [AFCON], we respect everybody,” Ranieri told reporters on Friday.
“They [Nigeria] have a lot of players and they change the manager, then we change everything and then we were ready — we knew.
“We were ready to give the players — they didn’t do this. Then the two boards spoke and then for me it’s OK.”
Neither Watford nor the NFF immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment.
‘Tinged with racism’
“Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?,” Wright said in a video posted on his Instagram on Wednesday.
“There is no greater honor — none, as a sportsperson — than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism.
“We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem.
“You are getting journalists asking players — players getting asked — if they will be honoring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an English player representing the Three Lions — can you imagine the furore?”
Hosted by Cameroon, AFCON’s 33rd edition runs from January 9 to February 6.
Nigeria is in Group D with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau. Nigeria’s first match is against Egypt in Garoua on January 9.
Meanwhile Gambia has had to cancel two friendlies in Qatar ahead of AFCON due to a number of Covid-19 cases and injuries — involving as many as 16 players and five officials — in their squad.