Speaking ahead of Watford’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day, Watford manager Ranieri said that the club had been “准备” to allow Dennis to be selected and suggested that the NFF missed the deadline to call up the forward.
“没有 [we have not disrespected [AFCON], we respect everybody,” Ranieri told reporters on Friday.
“他们 [奈及利亚] have a lot of players and they change the manager, then we change everything and then we were ready — we knew.
“We were ready to give the players — they didn’t do this. Then the two boards spoke and then for me it’s OK.”
Ranieri said that the 24-year-old Dennis
, who is enjoying a stellar 超级联赛 season with eight goals and four assists
, told him that he
“wanted to go
” to the tournament
, but also that
“he wanted to help Watford.
Neither Watford nor the NFF immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment.
‘Tinged with racism’
星期四, former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright said that media coverage of Europe-based players traveling to the Africa Cup of Nations was
” 和 “tinged with racism.
With several high-profile Premier League stars set to represent their countries at the tournament — including Liverpool trio Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, as well as Chelsea goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy — Wright highlighted the contrast to the way in which the 2020 European Championship was covered last year.
“Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?,” Wright said in a video posted on his Instagram on Wednesday.
“There is no greater honor — 没有, as a sportsperson — than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism.
“We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem.
“You are getting journalists asking players — players getting asked — if they will be honoring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an English player representing the Three Lions — can you imagine the furore?”
Hosted by Cameroon, AFCON’s 33rd edition runs from January 9 少年神童 6.
Nigeria is in Group D with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau. Nigeria’s first match is against Egypt in Garoua on January 9.