Victor Osimhen has been excused from the Super Eagles international friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia, after a local health authority in the southern Italian region ASL banned Napoli players from traveling, The PUNCH reports.
The Nigeria Football Federation announced Osimhen’s withdrawal from the squad on Sunday via its Twitter handle.
The NFF stated that Genk striker, Paul Onuachu, has been invited in place of the new Napoli striker.
Onuachu is the highest scoring Nigerian in Europe this season with seven goals in seven games.
“@victorosimhen9 has been excused from @NGSuperEagles’ games against Algeria and Tunisia. His replacement is Paul Onuachu. #Team9jaStrong #SoarSuperEagles,” it tweeted.
Coronavirus cases among Italian football clubs have risen in the past few days, with Genoa reporting 22 cases, while two staff members at Juventus have also been diagnosed with the virus.
Napoli duo Elif Elmas and Piotr Zielinski have also caught the virus and ASL does not want to risk further spreading of the disease in the area.
Osimhen has scored four goals in eight appearances for the Eagles.
Meanwhile, fans of the Eagles backed the recall of Onuachu to the team.
Onuachu, who scored the fastest goal in international football last year in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over of Egypt in a pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendly in Asaba, has been overlooked by Gernot Rohr in the team’s last two games.
“For the first time, I will accept this guy, Onuachu, because of his current form. I think seven goals in seven games is not bad,” Emmanuel Oye tweeted.
Michael Babash also wrote, “He has really improved. Scored seven goals in seven matches already. If he can stop sagging, he’s a good guy.”
“This is the time for him (Onuachu) to prove himself with the Eagles, so many fans do not believe in him,” Ugbe Bepeh tweeted.