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Super Eagles Play Ivory Coast Today, As Reaction Trails Sadiq Umar Comeback in Spain

Super Eagles are gearing up for a crucial match against Ivory Coast today, needing at least a draw to stay alive in the tournament. The team is already under pressure after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in their opening match. 

The controversy surrounding Sadiq’s withdrawal adds an extra layer of scrutiny as the team strives for success in the AFCON. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) addressed the controversy surrounding the withdrawal of forward Umar Sadiq from the Super Eagles squad for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), asserting that the decision was made professionally by the medical team.

Last Friday, the NFF officially announced Sadiq’s withdrawal from the AFCON squad due to a reported knee injury, with Paul Onuachu named as his replacement. 

However, conflicting reports emerged when a video surfaced on social media showing Sadiq actively training with his club, Real Sociedad, just days after his exclusion from the national team.

In response to the criticism, the NFF’s communication department released a statement, vehemently denying allegations of negligence and unprofessional conduct. 

The statement clarified that Sadiq arrived at the camp in good condition and underwent standard medical assessments. The injury occurred during a friendly match against Guinea, where Sadiq, despite being advised to be substituted, insisted on playing the entire match.

“The camp of Nigeria’s senior men’s football team, Super Eagles, has decried reports in sections of the media that have continued to garnish the medical case of Spain-based forward Sadiq Umar with conspiracy theories, incorrect assumptions, and unbecoming insinuations,” the NFF statement read.

Furthermore, the NFF highlighted that Sadiq actively participated in the decision-making process and initiated his rehabilitation with the Super Eagles’ physiotherapist before returning to his club in Spain. 

However, last night he came on for Real Sociedad against Osasuna and played 18 minutes. Football enthusiasts and fans alike are asking questions on what could have been the real issues. 

 

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