AFCON 2023: Super Eagles medical team clears the air on Sadiq Umar's situation


There has been controversy as it concerns the fitness of Sadiq Umar, who was left out of the 25-man list for the Super Eagles at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations hosted in Ivory Coast.

The medical team of the Super Eagles have explained in a statement why the midfielder was not part of the team that went to the competition

What did the Super Eagles medical team say?

"We are surprised at the news trending on social media concerning Sadiq Umar and how he was withdrawn from the team camp.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and were diligent in their processes and conclusions before advising Head Coach José Peseiro that the player be withdrawn from the squad.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 be substituted, as a cautionary measure, but he said he was fine and could continue the game. At half-time, he reiterated that he was good to continue playing, and he played the entire 90 minutes.

The statement continued,

“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.”

Umar has been training with his team for a couple of days and has been cleared to be in the match-day squad for Real Sociedad.