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Pinnick blames Rohr for Dennis’ AFCON miss

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has cleared the air on circumstances that led to the withdrawal of Watford talisman Emmanuel Dennis from the Super Eagles African Cup of Nations roster.

Watford boss, Claudio Ranieri had insisted that the NFF failed to send a pre-call within a certain timeframe and the experienced Italian football tactician is right after all based on the recent pronouncement by Pinnick.


For the sake of clarity, a pre-call is a provisional or preliminary roster submitted before the final squad is announced.


The NFF boss has clarified that Dennis wasn’t originally included on Nigeria’s provisional roster for the Africa Cup of Nations and was only added to the squad list after the dismissal of Gernot Rohr on December 12.


It is for that reason that William Troost-Ekong had no issues linking up with the Super Eagles and Dennis was prevented from traveling to Africa by Watford higher-ups.


Speaking to Arise News, Pinnick said: “There are statutory provisions regarding inviting players, we were given the deadline for the first list.

“In a big tournament you submit a first list comprised of 37-40 players in case there are injuries or you can replace or bring in some new players.

“The first list that was submitted by our first coach Gernot Rohr on the 15th excluded Dennis, that was the origin of the problem.

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“Dennis I’m in touch with him, he wants to play for Nigeria, he loves the country but you can also see that some clubs are very stubborn especially those ones that are struggling.”

The 24-year-old Dennis has been in the international wilderness for more than a year, with his last appearance for the Super Eagles coming in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone on November 17, 2020.

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