‘Injured’ Super Eagles forward Umar Sadiq trains with club

Four days after being dropped from the Super Eagles AFCON 2023 squad due to an injury, Umar Sadiq has resumed training with his Spanish club Real Sociedad.

The Nigerian has been named in Real Sociedad's squad for their Copa del Rey clash on Wednesday, 17 January.

Even worse, the forward was included in the club's promotional material alongside the names of other players travelling.

A statement on the club's website stated, “Umar Sadoq is already training at Zubieta to reintegrate into the team at the earliest opportunity.

Umar Saqic named in Real Sociedad squad for Osasuna clash

Video confirmation of Umar Sadiq's return

Shortly after announcing Sadiq's inclusion in Real Sociedad's match against Osasuna, a video emerged that seemingly confirmed the earlier reports.

NFF reacts to reports of Umar Sadiq

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) through the media spokesperson Ademola Olajire, promptly released a statement to address the concerns of Super Eagles fans who were distressed by the sudden and unexpected turn of events, providing clarification on the situation:

Find the full statement below

“We are surprised at the news trending on social media concerning Umar Sadiq and how he was withdrawn from the team camp,” he gushed.

“The fact is that our medical team meticulously abided by the best medical procedures and was diligent in their processes and conclusions before advising coach José Peseiro that the player be withdrawn from the squad.

“The player, Umar Sadiq, 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 8 January, that led to a penalty against our opponents.

“The medical team advised that he be substituted as a cautionary measure, but he said he was fine and could continue the game. At halftime, 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 10 January, flew to Abidjan. Then, the swelling became worse.”

Umar Sadiq
Photo by Icon sport

NFF refutes media claims over Umar Sadiq injury

The NFF also refuted reports suggesting incompetence on the part of the Super Eagles medical team in their decision to rule out the forward.

“Most of the reports we have seen are not a true representation of what actually happened,” the statement continued.

“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 protocols 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.”

Umar Sadiq was one of the key men tasked to restore the Super Eagles to international glory in Ivory Coast, but unfortunately, he got injured and was replaced by Paul Onuachu.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.