Premier League club, Watford has refuted accusations from the Senegalese football federation (FSF) that they are preventing forward Ismaila Sarr from playing in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
The FSF claimed Watford had displayed “disrespectful, pernicious and discriminatory behaviour”.
“The Senegalese Football Federation wishes to express by this press release its deep condemnation of the disrespectful, pernicious and discriminatory behaviour of the leaders of Watford who seek by all means to prevent a player from playing with his national team,” an FSF statement said.
But Watford believes Sarr, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury and has not featured for the Premier League club since November, is not yet fit enough to feature at the tournament in Cameroon later this month.
The club also responded with their own statement, inviting the FSF to have Sarr checked by their “own independent surgeon to confirm the diagnosis and rehabilitation period.”
“In early December, the Club wrote to the Senegal Football Federation outlining the clinical diagnosis of Ismaila’s injury and immediately followed that up by supplying the MRI scans detailing the extent of the injury,” Watford’s statement said.
“After further consultation with medical experts, we informed the Federation of Ismaila’s rehabilitation process and likely timeframe of recovery.”
This follows a similar AFCON row over striker Emmanuel Dennis which ended with him being ‘excused’ from Nigeria’s squad, with NFF saying the English club were “baring fangs” for refusing to release Dennis for international duty.