Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) boss Amaju Pinnick has stated that former Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr is responsible for the absence of Emmanuel Dennis at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
NFF boss Amaju Pinnick blames Gernot Rohr for Emmanuel Dennis' absence from AFCON squad
The absence of Dennis from the AFCON is Rohr's fault, not Watford's.
Emmanuel Dennis was among the initial 28 players names that were released to the public called up for the AFCON.
Responding to the call-up, Dennis took to Twitter to reveal his excitement with a statement that said, "Proud to get a call up to represent my country. Naija boy."
Dennis could not report to the Super Eagles camp which brought about contrasting reports about what happened behind the scenes.
NFF President Pinnick has now pulled the curtain back to explain why Dennis could not join up with the team.
According to Pinnick, the problem with the participation of Dennis was down to a decision made by former Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr.
Pinnick gave a detailed explanation of the situation in an interview with Arise News.
Speaking about Dennis he said, "There are statutory provisions regarding inviting players. We were given the deadline for the first list.
"You submit the first list of 37-40 players, in case of injuries you can replace or bring in new players.
"Rohr submitted the first list on the 15th of December, that was the origin of the problem.
"Dennis, I'm in touch with him he wants to play for Nigeria he loves the country."
Pinnick also acknowledged the minimal role Watford played and how European teams continue to show a lack of respect towards the AFCON.
He said, "It is something we are not going to take.
"If you do not respect Africa we will make sure African players do not come to your club."
Pinnick then highlighted a separate issue of Tyronne Ebuehi who was not in the provisional squad but was able to convince his team to let him go for the AFCON.
He said, “We spoke with Ebuehi and he was excited to join the squad.
“We noticed we had some lapses in the defense and we had to draft some more players in that department.”
Dennis has been sensational for Watford this season and a lot of Nigerian football fans were hoping to see him shine at the AFCON.
Dennis was not released by Watford and was replaced by Peter Olayinka who plays for Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.