Interim boss of the Super Eagles, Augustine Eguavoen has revealed that Napoli striker Victor Osimhen pulled out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations because of health issues.
The 23-year-old withdrew from the Nigeria squad after constant back and forth between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Napoli.
Osimhen had sustained a nasty facial injury in late November, after colliding with Milan Skriniar in their 3-2 defeat to Inter Milan.
Napoli announced the player would be ruled out of action for two to three months following his surgery.
However, his return time was cut short after Napoli’s medical team designed a face mask to protect him from aggravating his injury.
Osimhen even declared himself fit and ready for the AFCON on his social media.
There was a new twist last week, as Osimhen pulled out of the AFCON after the Italian club reported that the Nigerian hitman had tested positive for Covid-19.
“Osimhen, it’s a pity that he will not be at the AFCON. He told me practically and pleaded with me, and I saw reasons,” Eguavoen told the media.
“I tried for hours to convince him, but his health comes first, which is my concern.”
“When he spoke with me, he was disappointed, and he told me he was not OK. And did not want to go to the AFCON not fully 100 per cent fit.”
“I gave him a few hours and called him back to see whether he will change his mind, and he told me he will be going for evaluation on his face on January 4 and 5 before doctors can make a final decision.”
“With that injury, you have to consider his health. It’s a tough one.”
Osimhen has been replaced by Henry Onyekuru in the squad.