Watford threatened Dennis to boycott AFCON – Eguavoen
Interim Super Eagles coach Austin Eguavoen claimed Watford Football Club threatened Emmanuel Dennis from featuring at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
According to PUNCH, Watford FC did not released Dennis after they received his invitation for the tournament late, which made way for Peter Olayinka.
Eguavoen stated this after the Super Eagles Friday’s training session in Abuja.
“Watford stopped him from featuring at the AFCON.
“Dennis told me he wanted to come for the tournament but Watford threatened him from coming. I feel bad that some of them like Paul Onuachu, Osimhen and Dennis won’t be there but I feel the 28-man list is good enough to go for the AFCON.
“I only informed Onyekuru once and he was excited same as Tyronne Ebuehi and Semi Ajayi.”
Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri insisted Watford had not disrespected the Africa Cup of Nations after Nigeria confirmed talisman Emmanuel Dennis will no longer be travelling to the tournament.
Dennis was ‘excused’ from the squad in a major boost for fourth-bottom Watford who were accused by the Nigeria Football Federation of ‘baring fangs’ ahead of the frontman’s removal from the squad.
Ranieri said, “I knew they were speaking, the Watford board and Nigeria board and I accept every decision they fine and that for me is finished.
“No (we have not disrespected AFCON). We respect everybody. They have a lot of players and they changed the manager then changed everything.
‘We were ready to give the players. They didn’t do this and the two boards spoke and for me it’s ok. I am only the manager, the coach and I accept everything.’
There are also suggestions that a lack of assurance about the role he was due to play at AFCON also played a part in the decision to release Dennis from the squad.
“Of course, he wanted to go to play but also he wanted to help Watford.”
Watford play two league games plus an FA Cup tie between the date Dennis would have departed and the AFCON final.
They include crucial bottom-of-the-table battles against Newcastle and Norwich.
And they will now have the scorer or creator of 59 per cent of their goals this season available at a key time in their bid to beat the drop.
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