Nigeria may pay heavily for the lack-lustre display in the back-to-back Africa Nations Cup qualifiers against Sierra Leone as the Super Eagles stars may not be able to honour the forthcoming games in the FIFA window. Managers in top European teams are not disposed to releasing their players for the next continental and World Cup qualifiers because of COVID -19 protocols which make it mandatory for travellers coming into the European countries to be on 10-day quarantine on arrival from other parts of the world. Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp, has already stated that with the league and Champions League entering run-in period, he would not release any of his players.
Mohammed Sallah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Roberto Fimino (Brazil) are some of those to be affected but Senegal and Egypt are already through to 2022 AFCON finals. Klopp said: “I think all the clubs agree that with the same problems we cannot just let the boys go and then sort the situation when they come back by placing our players in a10-day quarantine in a hotel, it is just not possible.
“I understand the needs of the different FAs (football associations) but this is a time where we cannot make everyone happy and we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority.” Everton Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has also expressed huge concerns about the chances of allowing is player to travel in the March ending window.
Super Eagles player, Alex Iwobi, will be affected if Ancelotti also bans his wards from travelling.
Apart from Iwobi, Winfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho (both of Leicester), Ola Aina (Fulham), William Troost Ekong (Watford) Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun (Rangers, Scotland) are all based in the United Kingdom and are the risk of missing the next round of matches. Ogenekaro Etebo, Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu and players in other parts are also not sure to be part of the forthcoming games. (NewTelegraph)