Senegal accuse Watford of blocking Sarr from AFCON duty

Sarr
has
not
played
for
Watford
since
November
20
due
to
a
knee
ligament
injury
and
is
not
expected
to
return
to
fitness
until
the
end
of
this
month
at
the
earliest.

Despite
still
being
out
injured,
Senegal
named
the
23-year-old
in
their
squad
for
the
tournament,
which
runs
from
January
9
until
February
6.

However,
Watford
informed
Senegal
earlier
this
week
that
Sarr
will
not
be
allowed
to
travel.

It
is
the
second
Africa
Cup
of
Nations
row
Watford
have
been
embroiled
in
after
Nigeria
accused
the
Premier
League
side
of
“baring
fangs”
after
objecting
to
Emmanuel
Dennis
being
named
in
the
squad.

The
Senegalese
Football
Federation’s
general
secretary
Victor
Seh
Cisse
believes
the
reasons
given
by
Watford
for
objecting
to
Sarr’s
call-up
are
not
justified.

“By
mail
on
Friday,
December
31,
Watford
notified
on
the
basis
of
arguments
equally
specious
as
fallacious
its
decision
to
block
the
player
Ismaila
Sarr,
who
has
expressed
his
desire
to
join
the
Senegalese
selection
for
the
next
Cup
of
Nations
in
Cameroon,”
a
statement
read.

“The
Senegal
Football
Federation
wishes
to
express
with
this
communication
its
deep
condemnation
of
the
disrespectful,
pernicious
and
discriminatory
behaviour
of
Watford’s
hierarchy
who
look
by
all
means
to
prevent
a
player
from
playing
with
his
national
team.”

Clubs
have
until
Monday
to
release
players
called
up
by
their
national
teams
for
the
delayed
competition,
which
has
been
pushed
back
by
a
year
due
to
coronavirus.

Senegal,
who
finished
runners-up
to
Algeria
in
2019,
added
they
will
take
the
matter
up
with
FIFA
should
it
not
be
resolved.

Responding
to
the
allegations,
Watford
released
a
statement
on
their
official
website
on
Sunday
that
read:
“Ismaila
Sarr
suffered
a
knee
ligament
injury
on
November
20
in
the
match
against
Manchester
United
and
has
not
been
fit
to
play
for
Watford
FC
since
that
date.

“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.

“After
further
consultation
with
medical
experts,
we
informed
the
federation
of
Ismaila’s
rehabilitation
process
and
likely
timeframe
of
recovery.

“Within
the
past
10
days,
the
club
has
reiterated
to
the
Senegal
Football
Federation
the
player’s
current
medical
status
and
recovery
schedule.

“The
Hornets
have
also
invited
the
Senegal
Football
Federation
to
instruct
their
own
independent
surgeon
to
confirm
the
diagnosis
and
rehabilitation
period.”

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