Nigeria’s Osimhen Misses Flight for AFCON Semi-final Due to Health Concerns

Nigeria’s national football team faces a tense wait on the fitness of star striker Victor Osimhen, who missed the team’s flight to Bouake due to reported “abdominal discomfort.” Osimhen’s absence could potentially impact the Super Eagles’ upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final clash against South Africa.

The Napoli talisman, who has been a key player for Nigeria throughout the tournament, was forced off the field during stoppage time in their quarter-final victory over Angola. According to a statement from Nigeria, Osimhen’s condition prevented him from joining the team’s flight to Bouake on Monday. The statement indicated that he would undergo further assessment on Tuesday before a decision is made regarding his participation in Wednesday’s match.

“Members of the team traveled from Abidjan to Bouake today via a 10 pm Air Cote D’Ivoire flight. Osimhen did not, however, make the trip as a result of abdominal discomfort,” the statement clarified. “Team medics confirmed that he has been placed under close watch with a member of the medical team staying behind in Abidjan with him. If cleared by tomorrow morning, he will join the rest of the squad before 5 pm.”

Despite Osimhen’s potential absence, Nigeria remains hopeful for success in the semi-final. The team currently sits 42nd in the FIFA rankings, holding a favorable position compared to their upcoming opponents, South Africa. However, Osimhen’s contribution on the field is undeniable, and his absence would undoubtedly be felt by the Super Eagles.

Osimhen, with 27 international caps to his name, brings both skill and experience to the Nigerian squad. While his absence would be a blow, Nigeria can still rely on other talents such as Ademola Lookman, who has impressed with three goals and an assist in the tournament.

Nigeria’s history in AFCON adds further weight to the importance of Osimhen’s potential return. The team has won the tournament three times, with their last triumph dating back to 2013. Securing a spot in the final after an 11-year hiatus would be a significant achievement for the Super Eagles, but much hinges on Osimhen’s fitness in the crucial upcoming match against South Africa.

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