Babafemi Raji, the media officer of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, has refuted rumors suggesting that Victor Osimhen has been given the green light to participate in the match against South Africa on Wednesday, February 7.
Earlier on Monday, many Nigerian football enthusiasts were dismayed to learn that Victor Osimhen was contending with abdominal discomfort.
Due to his illness, Osimhen did not travel with the rest of the Super Eagles of Nigeria from Abidjan to Bouaké on Monday night, sparking speculation about his fitness for the 2023 AFCON semi-final match against Bafana Bafana.
However, during a press conference ahead of the game, scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro informed reporters that there was a possibility the 25-year-old Napoli striker could feature against South Africa.
Peseiro stated on Tuesday, February 6, “Until now, I cannot answer definitively because it concerns his health. This afternoon, I will have a better understanding if he can play or not.”
Following the press conference, certain media outlets claimed that Victor Osimhen had received clearance from the team’s medical staff to participate in the match against South Africa.
However, in a brief conversation with Naija News on Tuesday, the Super Eagles’ media officer clarified that Osimhen had not been cleared to play on Wednesday.
Raji affirmed that Osimhen had been cleared to travel from Abidjan to Bouaké to rejoin the team ahead of the anticipated match on Wednesday.
He disclosed that the reigning African Player of the Year would undergo another examination upon reaching Bouaké before being cleared to play against South Africa.
When questioned about Osimhen’s clearance to play on Wednesday, the media officer stated: “Not true…until he arrives in Bouaké and the medical staff conduct another assessment. He was only cleared to travel from Abidjan to Bouaké to join the team.”
It’s worth noting that Osimhen has participated in all of the Super Eagles’ games in the 2023 AFCON, managing to score just one goal so far.