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Nigeria faces Afcon setback as Wilfred Ndidi ruled out; Alhassan Yusuf named replacement

Posted : 03 January 2024

Nigeria's quest for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title faces a setback as midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is ruled out of the tournament due to an unspecified injury. The 27-year-old, a key player for both his national team and Leicester City, missed his club's recent match against Huddersfield Town.


In his absence, midfielder Alhassan Yusuf, in excellent form with Belgian champions Royal Antwerp, has been named as Ndidi's replacement. Although yet to earn a cap for Nigeria, Yusuf was part of the 40-man provisional squad for the Cup of Nations.


Ndidi's Leicester City teammate Kelechi Iheanacho, dealing with a muscle injury, aims to recover in time for the competition hosted by Ivory Coast, commencing on January 13 in Abidjan. The three-time African champions, currently training in the United Arab Emirates, find themselves in Group A alongside Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. Their opening match is scheduled against Equatorial Guinea on January 14, and despite Ndidi's absence, Nigeria remains hopeful of a strong performance in the tournament.


Team spokesman Babafemi Raji confirmed Ndidi's unavailability and announced Yusuf's inclusion, emphasizing the team's commitment to overcoming challenges as they pursue success in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.


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