The Super Eagles preparations for their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month have suffered another yet another blow
Umar Sadiq won’t be making his debut for Nigeria this month after Almeria revealed he wouldn’t be released for the two Afcon qualifiers against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr handed a maiden call-up to Sadiq for the two clashes after an impressive season with the Spanish second division side.
The former Rangers star has played a crucial role in Almeria’s promotion chase to the Spanish top-flight, scoring 14 goals and registering five assists in 25 league games so far.
However, he won’t get the chance to bring his scoring boots to the national team after Almeria confirmed he would not be turning up due to Covid-19 precautions.
La Unión said in a statement released on their social media pages that they are not satisfied with the conditions put in place to guard against Covid-19 and would not be releasing their star striker for international duty.
— UD Almería (@UDAlmeria_Eng) March 19, 2021
Almeria’s decision comes after the French Ligue 1 and 2 clubs revealed they would not be releasing their players to countries outside the European Union.
This led to Moses Simon’s withdrawal, while Lorient also confirmed that Terem Moffi would not be available, even though he’s on stand by.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed that Eyinmba’s Anayo Iwuala has been called up to replace Sadiq.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) March 19, 2021
The winger has been one of the best players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season with two goals and two assists.