Days after injury ruled out the Girondins Bordeaux star from the national team’s engagements later this month, another France-based star has also been declared unavailable for the crucial games
The Super Eagles will be without the services of Moses Simon for the Afcon-qualifying games against the Benin Republic and Lesotho after Nantes blocked the winger from travelling out of France.
Through a press release published on their official website on Wednesday, French Ligue 1 side Nantes announced that the Nigeria international would not be reporting for international duty next week in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Like several clubs in France, FC Nantes will not release their selected international players for matches outside of Europe during the next international break scheduled for the end of March,” Nantes said in a statement.
“In the absence of health guarantees in accordance with the requirements of the French government in force to date, FC Nantes will not be able to release its internationals outside the limits of European space.
“This decision, based on FIFA circular 1749 of February 5, is justified by the return protocol imposed on travellers who have travelled outside the European Union, who must in particular respect a seven-day isolation.”
Simon becomes the second Super Eagles forward to be confirmed unavailable for Gernot Rohr ahead of next fortnight’s matches after injury ruled out Girondins Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu.
The former Gent star was in good form heading into the qualifiers, scoring three goals in his last five appearances in the French top-flight, including his match-winning strike versus PSG three days ago.
Galatasaray’s Henry Onyekuru has already been called up to replace Kalu.
The duo of Genk’s Paul Onuachu and Lorient’s Terem Moffi are still on standby. Any of them could be called upon to replace Simon as Nigeria suddenly look short on options for the qualifying matches.