November 25, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is not resigned to Victor Osimhen not representing the Super Eagles at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and may require further proof of his unavailability, according to sources in the Italian press.
Osimhen had surgery on Tuesday, and according to the Serie A club’s medical bulletin, he will not be able to play again until February 21, fifteen days after the Cameroon tournament ends.
Osimhen was expected to be out until the middle of December, but Napoli have reiterated that he would miss the continental football showpiece.
“It will take an international medical consultation to convince Nigeria of the fact that Osimhen cannot leave with the national team,” stated Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica (via Casa Napoli) in its print edition on Wednesday.
The availability of the Super Eagles number nine for the AFCON has sparked a club versus country feud between Napoli and Nigeria, which may not augur well for both parties given that the interest ought to be about the player’s condition.
According to the article, Aurelio De Laurentiis, the owner of Napoli, is prepared to defend himself with the help of lawyer Enrico Lubrano, who will have to prove that Osimhen is unable to participate during the AFCON and that shortening the period would put the attacker’s health at risk.
THEWILL recalls that Osimhen’s facial fractures required “six plaques and 18 screws” to hold in place, according to the surgeon who operated on him after the “devastating” injury he suffered in the Sunday fixture.
And, Gianpaolo Tartaro, the surgeon who carried out the procedure, cautioned that it was still too early to know the entire extent of the injuries especially due to the complex nature of the fractures.