Super Eagles star risks club fine for late AFCON return

The 33rd edition of the continental championship is the highlight of the international career of Nigeria’s Afcon debutants, but one of them may have landed in trouble for his participation

Spanish club SD Huesca are looking to exact a disciplinary fine on Kelechi Nwakali following the Super Eagles midfielder’s late arrival from the Africa Cup of Nation.

Nwakali was one of the few Nigerian players who made their competitive Super Eagles and Afcon debut in Cameroon, with the former Golden Eaglets star earning favour in the eyes of interim head coach Augustine Eguavoen.

The 23-year-old midfielder made three appearances in Cameroon, one of which was a start, before Nigeria crashed out of the tournament at the first knockout round on January 23.

But Nwakali has failed to return to Huesca nine days after the Super Eagles’ elimination, irking his bosses at the club, according to a report by AS.

The midfielder had grown to become one of Huesca’s key players before leaving for the Afcon on January 2, starting each of the four games before his departure. 

But Huesca have reportedly had enough of Nwakali, and they were close to selling him to fellow La Liga Smartbank club Burgos on transfer deadline day. The deal collapsed, though, despite some Spanish media already announcing it done and dusted.

Nwakali’s contract, signed three years ago on arrival from Arsenal, expired this summer, and he has refused to extend with the Azulgranas.

But Huesca have reportedly concluded on sanctioning him as soon as he arrives in El Alcoraz for his latest misdemeanor.

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