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Nigeria express doubts over Isaac Success withdrawal

Isaac Success is the subject of a bizarre double claim from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), according to reports in Africa.

Success pulled out of his country’s World Cup qualifier with Zambia in Ndola on Sunday because of a knock to his left leg. NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire publicly said the forward was “finding it difficult to walk” after the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. Success even took to Instagram to show he was having treatment at the club’s training ground in London Colney.

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However, reports have since surfaced that the NFF doubt the validity of the withdrawal of Success and Chelsea’s Victor Moses.

“We know the two players had good games and there was no sign of injury on the duo during or after the game,” an NFF source told Completesportsnigeria.com. “It came as a surprise to hear later that Moses was injured and that he would not be available for the game and Success finished his team’s game before claiming injury.”

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The NFF have apparently resolved to investigate their claims and threatened disciplinary action. The NFF could, if they wish, invoke a rule that prevents him playing for Watford against Middlesbrough.

“Honestly, they won’t go unpunished if our investigation turns out as we are suspecting,” added the source. “In fact, we are considering writing a protest to FIFA if we find out that they connived with their respective clubs to feign injuries and stay away from the matches.”

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Fifa rules state that: “A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club… during the period for which he has been released or should have been released. This restriction on playing for the club shall, moreover, be prolonged by five days in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up.”

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African Football, meanwhile, are claiming that Success turned down the first chance to join up with the Super Eagles after he was asked to buy his flight ticket.

“The boy asked about his flight ticket to Abuja and when he was told to buy it and he will get a refund on arrival, he was disgusted and preferred to stay away,” an NFF official told AfricanFootball.com.

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NFF president Amaju Pinnick confirmed on Tuesday that the country’s Europe-based players were asked to buy their tickets and travel in economy class. He revealed that “80% of them complied” with this order.

Interestingly, Watford have on trial Godswill Ekpolo, the Nigeria defender who apparently only missed out on a place in Nigeria’s Olympic team because he arrived late for the camp after refusing to pay for his flight ticket to their training camp in Atlanta.