Sadiq Umar Returns To training, NFF Denies Complacency In Handling Injury  

Sadiq Umar Returns To training, NFF Denies Complacency In Handling Injury  

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By Amaechi Agbo

Super Eagles striker, Sadiq Umar was pictured in training on Monday with his Spanish club, Real Sociedad three days after he left Nigeria’s camp in Ivory Coast due to an injury he sustained during Nigeria vs Guinea warm up match.

The video and pictures which trended on social media stirred attacks on the Nigeria Super Eagles medical crew handling of the case with many questioning their capacity to have done due diligence and professionalism in assessing the injury.

However, the Nigeria Football federation has come out to deny any negligence or unprofessional conduct on the part of the team’s medical team.

“The camp of Nigeria’s senior men football team, Super Eagles has decried reports in sections of the media that have continued to garnish the medical case of Spain-based forward Sadiq Umar with conspiracy theories, incorrect assumptions and unbecoming insinuations. The camp has released a statement with regards to how the player was withdrawn from Nigeria’s squad for the 34th Africa Cup of Nations finals ongoing in Cote d’Ivoire.

“We are surprised at the news trending on social media concerning Sadiq Umar and how he was withdrawn from the team camp. The fact is that our medical team meticulously abided by the best medical procedures and were diligent in their processes and conclusions before advising Head Coach José Peseiro that the player be withdrawn from the squad.

“The player, Sadiq Umar, was okay when he arrived at camp; he had to undergo the standard pre-competition medical assessment and he was good. He started to train with the team. Unfortunately, he copped an injury on the back of his left knee during our friendly match against Guinea in Abu Dhabi on 8th January, that led to a penalty against our opponents. The medical team advised that he substituted, as a cautionary measure, but he said he was fine and could continue the game. At half time, he said he reiterated that he was good to continue playing, and he played the entire 90 minutes.

“However, the following day, he woke up to see the knee swelling, and the medical team had to apply ice which is the normal thing. The same day, we had to travel to Lagos and on the 10th January, flew to Abidjan. Then, the swelling became worse.

“Most of the reports we have seen are not a true representation of what actually happened. We have a very competent medical team who are well-trained in sport and exercise medicine and highly experienced and exposed to the most modern techniques and practices. They followed all due processes and protocol in tandem with the consultant knee surgeon that the player himself contacted in Spain, before the decision was made in the interest of the nation and the career of the player.

“As much as the medical team has refused to join issues with anyone due to their professional patience and privacy policy, we will not allow anyone to rubbish our collective responsibility as Team Nigeria to this Africa Cup of Nations championship. We reiterate that the player was carried along throughout the process, and he started his rehabilitation with the team physiotherapist before he returned to his club in Spain,” the statement said.

Terem Moffi has been since invited to replace him.

Nigeria began their AFCON campaign on a shaky note after the laboured to a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday. They will take on host, Ivory Coast in theur second Group A match on Thursday.

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