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AFCON 2021 - Ismaila Sarr: Watford responds to Senegal

Ismaïla Sarr.
AFCON 2021 - Ismaila Sarr: Watford responds to Senegal

The English club has reacted quickly to the strong exit of the Senegalese Football Federation to denounce the refusal of the Hornets to release the 23-year-old striker for the AFCON 2021.

Watford have been as diligent as the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF). Hours after being the target of a fiery statement from Senegalese officials, the Hornets have responded. They limited themselves to stating the facts of their decision not to release Ismaïla Sarr for the competition.

They first recalled that their striker was injured on 20 November. Stressing that he "is no longer fit to play for Watford FC since that date". "At the beginning of December," the Hornets rewind in their statement, "the Club wrote to the Senegalese Football Federation describing the clinical diagnosis of Ismaïla's injury. And immediately provided MRI scans detailing the extent of the injury."

Watford continued: "Following further consultation with medical experts, we have informed Ismaïla's FA of the rehabilitation process and likely timetable for recovery."

The Premier League's 17th-placed side insists they have not stopped there. "Over the last ten days, the Club has reiterated to the Senegalese Football Federation the player's current state of health and his recovery timetable," it swears. The Hornets have also invited the Senegalese Football Federation to instruct their own independent expert to confirm the diagnosis and rehabilitation period."

Monday 3 January deadline
In a statement issued on Sunday 2 January, the Senegalese football leaders have lit up Watford. They have vigorously criticized their refusal to release Ismaila Sarr. They described it as "disrespectful, pernicious and discriminatory behaviour". They have maintained the summons of their player and threatened to refer to FIFA if the English club does not go in their direction.

The clubs had until Monday 3 January to release the African players selected for the AFCON. The FSF hopes Sarr will pack his bags to join his teammates who are preparing.

Senegal is in group B. It will face in the first round Zimbabwe (January 10), Guinea (14) and Malawi (18).

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