AFCON: Representing Nigeria Always My Priority – Sadiq Opens Up on AFCON Exit

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By James Moses (9News Nigeria Jos)

Nigeria and Real Sociedad striker, Umar Sadiq Mesbah has released a statement via his Instagram account clarifying his exit from the Super Eagles squad a few days before the start of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Born on February 2, 1997 in Kaduna Nigeria. Formerly represented the Nigeria National U-23 team and was important member of the squad that won Bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The tall, agile and lanky striker suspected to have picked a knee injury in Nigeria friendly clash with Guinea before the start of Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON).

Upon proper examination by the Nigerian medical team, a decision was reached that the 26- year-old striker would not be fit enough for AFCON and was replaced by Terem Moffi.

Not long after Sadiq left the Eagles camp, he was seen back in training with the La Liga giant, Real Sociedad.

However, in a lengthy post on Instagram on Friday, Sadiq insisted he was assessed by Real Sociedad’s medical team and it was discovered that he had suffered a bruise and not knee injury.

He wrote, “It is imperative for me to address the message I have received from fellow Nigerians, accusing me of pretending to be injured to leave the National team just before the start of the AFCON and return to my club.

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“Here is a comprehensive explanation on the situation during the friendly game against Guinea. I experienced a significant impact from two Guinean defenders leading to a penalty in favour of Nigeria.

“Despite the medical team recommending substitution for preventive measures, I insisted on continuing to play and complete the game. The following day, my knee was swollen and the Eagles medical team conducted a thorough examination revealing a meniscus injury.

“The Manager decided to replace me based on the medical assessment, considering uncertainties about my fitness for the AFCON.

“Upon returning to my club, I underwent thorough examination and the medical team revealed that I had only suffered a bruise and as a result I was cleared to resume training, I give thanks to Allah and my club Real Sociedad for supporting my swift recovery and resuming to play.

“Representing Nigeria is always my priority. I will never take it for granted. I would gladly accept it If I could return to the team. I am sad that I’m not with the team but happy for the winning. I extend my best wishes to the Eagles in the ongoing AFCON”.

– 9News Nigeria

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About James Moses 1618 Articles
James Moses is a 9News Nigeria news correspondent reporting from Jos, Plateau State. He is an experienced writer, journalist and blogger. He is passionate and flair for Politics, Sports and Entertainment reporting. Contact James Moses via his email address: