Tuesday Jan 04, 2022. 15:00
Premier League club Watford have explained why they prevented Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr from travelling to join up with his national team for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The continental showpiece gets underway in Cameroon on Sunday 9 January, but the Teranga Lions – one of the tournament favourites – are set to be without one of their best attackers.
The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) on Sunday accused the Hornets of “disrespectful, pernicious and discriminatory behaviour” in not allowing Sarr to join up with the team, but the Premier League club have insisted that the 23-year-old is not fit enough to take part in the AFCON.
“In early December, the club wrote to the Senegal Football Federation outlining the clinical diagnosis of Ismaïla’s injury and immediately followed that up by supplying the MRI scans detailing the extent of the injury,” Watford wrote in a statement.
“After further consultation with medical experts, we informed the Federation of Ismaïla’s rehabilitation process and likely timeframe of recovery.”
Watford continued their statement by saying that they have shared Sarr’s recovery schedule with the Teranga Lions, as well as what his current medical situation is.
It was also revealed that the Hornets have invited Senegal’s Football Federation to tell their own independent surgeon about the decision, allowing them to confirm the diagnosis.
Senegal are set to get their AFCON campaign underway with a clash against Zimbabwe on the afternoon of Monday 10 January, while Watford are set to face Leicester City in the FA Cup on Saturday 8 January.