AFCON 2021: Napoli not shy of taking NFF to court over Victor Osimhen – Lawyer

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Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen has withdrawn from the 2022 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, with his club threatening to take the Nigeria Football Federation to court if Osimhen is forced to return for the competition against the club doctor’s advise.

“It is a realistic scenario. Medicine is not an exact science, one doctor can say one thing and another medic give a different opinion,” said. SSC Napoli’s lawyer Enrico Lumbrano while speaking on Victor Osimhen’s health condition with Italian Radio Punto Nuovo.

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“FIFA give the final word to the Nigerian Federation. We won’t rule out taking legal action against the Nigerian Federation, seeking compensation,” he addedOsimhen was a major injury doubt for the African tournament after he suffered fractures in the face in November but he made an unexpectedly fast recovery after a successful surgery by Italian Surgeon Gianpaolo Tartaro.

He was then included in coach Austin Eguavoen’s 28-man squad for AFCON.Things however went south when club doctors diagnosed Osimhen for COVID-19 upon his return to Italy after a short Christmas break in Nigeria.

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The club had secured NFF’s leave to allow Osimhen participate in Napoli’s crucial match against Juventus on January despite AFCON starting three days later.“With an agreement between Napoli and the NFF, Osimhen could have played against Juventus on January 6 and then left immediately after the game,” Mr Lumbrano has told the radio station.But Osimhen’s COVID-19 condition complicated the arrangement.

FIFA give the final word to the Nigerian Federation. We won’t rule out taking legal action against the Nigerian Federation, seeking compensation,” he added

Victor Osimhen was a major injury doubt for the African tournament after he suffered fractures in the face in November but he made an unexpectedly fast recovery after a successful surgery by Italian Surgeon Gianpaolo Tartaro.

He was then included in coach Austin Eguavoen’s 28-man squad for AFCON.

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Things however went south when club doctors diagnosed Osimhen for COVID-19 upon his return to Italy after a short Christmas break in Nigeria. The club had secured NFF’s leave to allow Osimhen participate in Napoli’s crucial match against Juventus on January despite AFCON starting three days later.

“With an agreement between Napoli and the NFF, Osimhen could have played against Juventus on January 6 and then left immediately after the game,” Mr Lumbrano has told the radio station.

But Osimhen’s COVID-19 condition complicated the arrangement.

By FIFA rules, Nigeria could insist Napoli release the player for the competition or sit out the entire period of the championship without playing for the club.

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Peoples Gazette

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