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Afcon 2021: Awaziem a major doubt for Nigeria clash against Sudan

21:40 GMT+3 13/01/2022
Chidozie Awaziem
The Super Eagle is ‘under the weather' and that places his participation in Saturday’s match in doubt

Alanyaspor’s Chidozie Awaziem may not feature for Nigeria when they square up against Sudan in Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations encounter.

Again, the Turkey-based defender was absent from Super Eagles’ training on Thursday as the three-time African kings look to silence the Falcons of Jediane at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.

Awaziem – who was not named in Nigeria’s squad that defeated Egypt in the opening game – did not train with the team on Wednesday.

While there have been insinuations that the 25-year-old may have contracted Covid-19, GOAL reached out to one of the team’s officials to know the exact situation.

According to the crew member who pleaded anonymity, he discloses that the former FC Porto star is ‘under the weather' and would be back in the coming days.

If this is anything to go by, Awaziem is expected to miss the country’s fixture against Burhan Tia’s men.

Meanwhile, there are no injury worries in Augustine Eguavoen’s squad as all the players looked sharp and fit in Thursday’s training session.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half strike helped the 2013 African champions subdue Carlos Queiroz’s Pharaohs 1-0 in their opening encounter.

While the East and Central African side would be aiming to wreak havoc against the star-studded Africans, a triumph for Eguavoen’s men will see them book an early ticket to the Round of 16 with a match to spare.

1970 African champions Sudan settled for a morale-boosting 0-0 draw against Guinea Bissau in their opening Group D fixture.

After missing the last three editions staged in South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon respectively, they stage a return to the biennial African championship – target a second African title.

Tia’s Falcons of Jediane finished in the quarter-final the last time they participated in Afcon. In the 2012 edition co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the Sudanese senior national team side was knocked out in the last eight following a 3-0 defeat to Zambia at the Estadio de Bata.

Nigeria’s last group game will be against the Djurtus on January 20, while Sudan will try seven-time African champions Egypt for size on the same day.