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Napoli confirm Osimhen’s status ahead of Nigeria’s AFON opener

Victor Osimhen
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Over a week after pulling out of Nigeria’s AFCON squad, the Super Eagles striker is now expected to return to Italy.

Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen has tested negative for coronavirus and will return to Italy later on Sunday.

Napoli have confirmed the 23-year-old has got the all-clear to end his period of isolation. The Italian side added on social media that they expect him to report back to them ‘in the coming hours’.

Osimhen spent his winter break in Nigeria, soon after undergoing  surgery on the facial fractures he sustained in November. He, however, tested positive for COVID-19. The result forced him to self-isolate and, eventually, withdraw from the national team’s Africa Cup of Nations squad.

Napoli refused to release the striker for AFCON and even threatened Nigeria with legal action when the West Africans named him as part of their squad regardless.

“FIFA give the final word to the Nigerian Federation. We won’t rule out taking legal action against the Nigerian Federation, seeking compensation,” Napoli lawyer Enrico Lubrano told Radio Punto Nuovo.

Who else is missing for Nigeria?

Fellow Nigerian strikers Emmanuel Dennis and Odion Ighalo are also out of the AFCON squad after their clubs, Watford and Al Shabab respectively, refused to release them for duty.

 Rangers defender Leon Balogun and Omonia Nicosia full-back Shehu Abdullahi, meanwhile, are also sidelined. West Brom’s Semi Ajayi and Venezia’s Tyronne Ebuehi have replaced them.

Nigeria begin their AFCON Group D campaign on Tuesday against Egypt at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua, Cameroon.