The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has released an official statement refuting allegations of negligence and unprofessional conduct leveled against the Super Eagles medical team concerning the withdrawal of Spain-based forward Sadiq Umar from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire, MySportDab reports.
The NFF addressed the reports circulating on social media, providing a detailed account of the events leading to Umar’s withdrawal.
The statement clarified that upon Umar’s arrival at the camp, he was deemed fit and underwent the standard pre-competition medical assessment, confirming his good health.
The injury occurred during a friendly match against Guinea on January 8, resulting in swelling in the back of his left knee. Despite the medical team’s advice for substitution during the match, Umar insisted on continuing and played the entire 90 minutes. The following day, increased swelling prompted a thorough evaluation by the medical team.
The NFF emphasized that the medical team diligently followed best procedures and protocols, consulting with a knee surgeon in Spain whom Umar had contacted, before deciding to withdraw him from the squad.
The statement condemned the conspiracy theories, incorrect assumptions, and insinuations circulating in the media, labeling them as baseless.
In their detailed explanation, the NFF reiterated the professionalism and competency of their medical team, highlighting their training in sports and exercise medicine, extensive experience, and exposure to modern techniques. The medical team’s decisions were made in the best interest of the nation and the player’s career.
While the medical team refrained from engaging in public disputes, the NFF asserted their commitment to maintaining the integrity of Team Nigeria at the AFCON championship. They emphasized that Umar was kept informed throughout the process, initiating rehabilitation with the team physiotherapist before returning to his club in Spain.
The NFF’s statement serves as a comprehensive response to the allegations, seeking to set the record straight regarding Umar’s withdrawal from the Super Eagles squad. The emphasis on transparency and adherence to medical procedures reflects the NFF’s dedication to upholding professional standards and safeguarding the reputation of Team Nigeria.